More than half (54%) of children around the world worry about being bullied online, according to a new Global Youth Online Behaviour Survey released by Microsoft.

Conducted in 25 countries during January and February among more than 7 600 children ages eight to 17, the survey focuses on how kids are treating one another online and whether parents are addressing online behaviours. Microsoft commissioned the survey looking at of a range of online behaviours among youth – from “meanness” (least severe) to online bullying or cruelty (most severe).

Globally, the survey found the following:

  • * Four in 10 children surveyed (ages 8 to 17) say they have experienced what adults might consider online bullying.
  • * Twenty-four percent of children surveyed say they have done something parents would consider online bullying.
  • * Five percent of parents engage with their children’s school about online bullying, according to the children surveyed.
  • * The survey also uncovered that children want to talk to parents about the issue, but only 29% of kids say their parents have talked to them about protecting themselves online. What’s more, according to the results, there is not one common step taken by parents to address the problem, with only 17% having communicated a clear set of rules for negative online behaviours.

“Kids need to know that they can turn to a trusted adult, such as a parent, caregiver or teacher, who will talk to them about all kinds of online safety concerns,” says Jacqueline Beauchere, director: trustworthy computing for Microsoft. “At Microsoft, we help empower adults with the productive tools and resources to help start the conversation with kids about how to stay safer online.”