Teen Online Behaviors Survey

Teen Online Behaviors Survey
By Home Word Editors

In a last month’s edition of Home Word’s Good Advice Parent Newsletter, we asked our readers to take a brief survey about their teens’ online behaviors. Here are the results of the survey. Earlier in 2008, Symantec, the maker of Norton security software released results of a study that looked into similar areas. We’ve noted the differences between what our survey showed in contrast with the Symantec study results.

1. On average, how much time do you believe your kids spend online each month?
2 Hours or less: 19%
Between 2 & 5 hours: 13%
Between 5 & 10 hours: 19%
Between 10 & 15 hours: 11%
Between 15 & 20 hours: 11 %
Over 20 hours: 27%

The Symantec study showed that most parents believe their kids are online two hours a month, while kids who were surveyed said on average they were online 20 hours per month. Our survey indicates our responders have a better understanding of the amount of time kids actually spend online.

2. When your kids go online, how frequently would you say they visit social networking websites (like MySpace or Facebook)?
Always: 21%
Frequently: 32%
Sometimes: 8%
Rarely: 13%
Never: 26%

According to the Symantec study, 67% of teens said “constantly,” “frequently,” or “sometimes” visit social networking websites when online (compared with 61 % of parents who responded to our survey.)

3. How good of an understanding do you believe you have on what your kids are doing online?
Very good: 46%
Good: 48%
Not so good: 6% No idea: 0%

The Symantec study said that 41 % of teens say their parents have no idea what they are looking at online. Our survey suggests a different conclusion, namely that parents have a good or very good idea (94%) of what kids are doing online – or, perhaps, that parents believe they know what their kids are looking at online, but in reality don’t.

4. Do you believe your kids have received online requests for personal information?
Yes: 59%
No: 41%

In the Symantec study, 42% of teenagers said they have received online requests for personal information.

5. Do you believe your kids have ever been contacted by a stranger online?
Yes: 37%
No: 63%

U.S. children report that 16% of them have been approached online by a stranger; however, U.S. adults believe that just 6% of children have been approached online by a stranger. While the general population underestimates the number of kids being approached by strangers online, our survey indicates that the parents who responded have a heightened awareness of this potential danger.

6. Do you set parental controls to limit access to websites on your home computer?
Yes: 69%
No: 31%

The Symantec study indicated that only a third of parents worldwide set parental controls. Our study shows good news that over two-thirds of parents set parental controls.

7. Do you monitor your child’s online activities?
Yes: 92%
No: 8%

Again, good news here for parents who took our survey. The vast majority of parents monitor the online activities of their children. The Symantec study by contrast, showed that only a third of parents monitor their children’s online activities.

This article “Teen Online Behaviors Survey” by Home Word Editors is excerpted from www.symantec.com.