NetSmartz is a very informative site geared towards aiding with the awareness efforts on how to better protect our kids while online. They have an excellent collection of data pertaining to how and what teens are doing online below:
Teen Internet Safety Study
A survey commissioned by Cox Communications and NCMEC2 found that
Teen Internet Usage and Attitudes about Safety Present Potential Risks but also Opportunities for Education and a Role for Watchful Parents and Guardians
- Teens have established significant presence on social networking web pages: 61% of 13- to 17-year-olds have a personal profile on a site such as MySpace, Friendster, or Xanga. Half have also posted pictures of themselves online.
- Older teens (16-17s) and girls especially use the Internet for social interaction, meeting friends, and networking.
- However, many have also been exposed to the Internet’s accompanying potential risks.
- 71% reported receiving messages online from someone they don’t know.
- 45% have been asked for personal information by someone they don’t know.
- 30% have considered meeting someone that they’ve only talked to online
- 14% have actually met a person face-to-face they they’ve only spoken to over the Internet (9% of 13-15s; 22% of 16-17s).
- When teens receive messages online from someone they don’t know, 40% reported that they’ll usually reply and chat with that person.
- Only 18% said they’ll tell an adult.
Perceptions of Internet Safety:
- 20% of teens report that it is safe (i.e. “somewhat” or “very safe”) to share personal information on a public blog or networking site.
- As well, 37% of 13- to 17-year-olds said they are “not very concerned” or “not at all concerned” about someone using information they’ve posted online in ways they don’t want.
Families Talking to Teens about Internet Safety Helps Reduce Some Youth Exposure to Potential Threats and Encourages Safer Online Decisions Among Teens:
- 33% of 13- to- 17-year-olds reported that their parents or guardians know “very little” or “nothing” about what they do on the Internet.
- 48% of 16-17s said their parents or guardians know “very little” or “nothing”
- Fully 22% of those surveyed reported their parents or guardians have never discussed Internet safety with them.
- On the other hand, 36% of youth—girls and younger teens most notably—said that their parents or guardians have talked to them “a lot” about online safety, and 70% said their parents or guardians have discussed the subject with them during the past year.
- Fewer teens whose families have talked to them “a lot” about online safety have an IM name or pictures of themselves on the Internet, compared to kids whose families have not talked to them at all. More teens who’ve talked to parents or guardians also ignore messages from unfamiliar people, refuse to reply or chat, block unknown senders, and report these occurrences to trusted adults.