This year, children had a very unusual winter holiday. Due to the epidemiological situation, street festivals and fairs in many countries were canceled; and visiting older relatives was undesirable or off limits. We analyzed the anonymized search queries requested by Kaspersky Safe Kids users from December 20 to January 10, to explore how these children offset the lack of outdoor activities. The voluntarily provided anonymized metadata covers requests made via Bing, Google, Mail.ru, Yahoo!, Yandex, and YouTube, both on mobiles and desktops.

The most popular requests were associated with YouTube (21%), gaming (15%), language translators (11%), communication platforms (10%) and music (9%).

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When on YouTube, children searched most frequently for video games (37%). They searched for channels of game streamers who play different games (39%) and for channels that cover specific ones like Minecraft (19%). The other most requested games on YouTube were Among Us, Brawl Stars and Gacha Life, which enables the creation of video stories.

The second most prominent search category (21%) on YouTube was related to specific bloggers or channels. For example, the DIY-topic became quite popular among children, evidenced by the top three requests for channels such as 5-Minute Crafts, 123 GO! and Troom Troom.

The third most popular YouTube search topic, unsurprisingly, was music. The most popular musicians were K-pop bands BlackPink and BTS; singers Ariana Grande and Billie Eilish; and rapper Travis Scott. The most popular songs were ‘Baby Shark’, ‘Dance Monkey’ and ‘Savage Love’.

Besides musicians and bloggers, children searched for other famous personalities. 45th U.S. President Donald Trump topped kids’ requests, ahead of other highly-searched celebrities including actress Emma Watson and entrepreneur Elon Musk.

Another strong interest this winter was TikTok, which has seen 800 million monthly active users in over 150 countries. During this winter break kids searched for ‘TikTok mashup’, certain TikTokers and ‘how to change restricted modes on TikTok’. In addition, the most popular challenge was to ‘try not to laugh’, which was also frequently searched in German - ‘versuche nicht zu lachen’.

“The popularity of DIY shows that children still love hand-made crafting, and the passion for Gacha Life can facilitate storytelling and cartoon creation skills. TikTok inspires kids to shoot creative videos, while Korean pop stars appeal by teaching dance moves through their video clips. Today, children who do not even know a world without video games, YouTube and messaging apps show they know how to entertain themselves regardless of any pandemic. We, as adults, should learn from them,” comments Anna Larkina, web content analysis expert at Kaspersky.

Here is some advice from Kaspersky to help parents make the online experience positive and safe for their children:

  • Encourage children to use the digital environment for creativity and the development of self-expression. For example, you can recommend that they play motion-based dancing games or that you participate in video challenges together
  • You can take care of your child’s security by making their account more private – TikTok has recently updated its parental control feature
  • Learn more about your children’s interests. Kaspersky Safe Kids can provide you with regular reports on what makes their day. The app analyzes your children’s online search activity and manages screen time without encroaching on their personal space

To learn more about Kaspersky’s recent findings on children’s interests, read more on Securelist.

Note to editors

The report is based on anonymized metadata, voluntarily provided by users of Kaspersky Safe Kids app from December 20, 2020 to January 10, 2021. This covers search requests made by children via Bing, Google, Mail.ru, Yahoo!, Yandex and YouTube, more than 1,000 times during this period. Popularity was calculated by the number of times each query was searched without dividing by region and language.

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Children searched for Minecraft, DIY and Donald Trump during the winter break

A new Kaspersky Safe Kids study has revealed how children expressed their interests during the 2020-2021 winter holidays. Despite restrictions around the globe, kids managed to primarily amuse themselves with YouTube content (21%) and games (15%) – Minecraft being the most popular. Meanwhile, Donald Trump led the search count for famous people.
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