Our fifth Digital Diaries study “Digital Coming of Age” throws up some really interesting new stats about how todays’ parents perceive their teens’ online activity.

 

One of the most surprising statistics is that half of parents around the world check up on their kids Facebook accounts…secretly!

 

But is that a surprise? AVG’s security evangelist Tony Anscombe doesn’t think so. In fact he thinks it’s wise to do so, and while parents may have previously turned a blind eye to their kids’ activity online, they are now starting to wake up to the dangers of this private playground.

 

In fact, US parents maybe wising up to this quicker than European, with nearly 60% of US parents secretly checking their kids Facebook accounts, compared with only 40% of UK parents secretly accessing their teens Facebook profiles. If you want to get some advice on how to approach these concerns with your kids then watch our video on this issue here.

 

 

 

There’s plenty of thought provoking stats in this study to mull over. Here’s a selection of the ones that we wanted to highlight:

 

  • Over one fifth of parents in the US, UK and Australia suspect their teens of “sexting” via their mobiles
  • One fifth of UK and US parents, and over a quarter in Australia and New Zealand have seen explicit or abusive messages on their teens Facebook profiles
  • One fifth of UK and US parents suspect their teens access pornography on their PCs.  In Spain, over a quarter think their teens access porn sites, while over 40%  suspect them of online gambling
  • A majority of parents in the UK and Australia think that their school is doing a good or very good job about teaching their kids about using the Internet responsibly.   In the US, just under half (49%) think so, while in Italy 39% think their school is doing a bad job
  • Again, over 60% of US parents secretly access their kids’ Facebook profiles to see what they are doing.  Most parents – almost three-quarters in the US, make sure to keep connected with their teens on Facebook
  • Just under half of American parents suspect their teen of conducting a relationship via a cell phone
  • 40% of US and Australian parents are worried that their teens’ social media profiles will hurt their job prospects.  In Spain two-thirds are concerned about their teens’ digital footprint, in the UK only 30% are concerned
  • Just under half of parents are concerned about their teens’ mobile photos being geo-tagged.   In Australia, Spain, Japan and Italy, a majority are concerned.

 

If you love stats – and we do – then check out these tables for more detail.

 

Do you suspect your teen of accessing pornography / gambling / illegal music download pages?

 

 

All

US

UK

AUS

NZ

CAN

GER

FR

ES

IT

CZ

JPN

Teen boys

Teen girls

Mother

Father

Pornography 19% 21% 19% 17% 17% 18% 15% 15% 26% 22% 24% 14% 26% 12% 14% 24%
Gambling 9% 5% 5% 2% 2% 6% 6% 6% 41% 10% 10% 2% 11% 7% 7% 11%
Illegal music downloads 27% 19% 28% 27% 27% 25% 16% 30% 45% 22% 35% 19% 29% 26% 21% 32%

 

Do you ever access you teen’s Facebook account without them knowing?

All

US

UK

AUS

NZ

CAN

GER

FR

ES

IT

CZ

JPN

Teen boys

Teen girls

Mother

Father

Yes 44% 61% 41% 41% 44% 54% 43% 45% 61% 54% 35% 9% 45% 44% 49% 39%
No 56% 39% 59% 59% 56% 46% 57% 55% 39% 46% 65% 91% 55% 56% 51% 61%

 

Are you worried that what your teen is posting on social networks could affect their future job, college or dating prospects?

All

US

UK

AUS

NZ

CAN

GER

FR

ES

IT

CZ

JPN

Teen boys

Teen girls

Mother

Fathers

Yes 42% 40% 30% 42% 37% 38% 47% 45% 65% 57% 29% 33% 41% 44% 42% 43%
No 58% 60% 70% 58% 63% 62% 53% 55% 35% 43% 71% 67% 59% 56% 58% 57%

 

 

What do you think of these results? Do they reflect your own experiences with your family? Do you think that schools should play a role in the educating of children and teens? Come and let us know what you think on our Facebook Community or on Twitter.

 

NB. There are loads of interesting stats and debating points from this study. If you would like to read the full report, download the pdf here or go to www.avgdigitaldiaries.com for information from all five stages of Digital Diaries.

 

Digital Diaries is a five part study by AVG examining the role of computers and the internet in the lives of children and youth around the world. Each stage deals with a different age-group, beginning at 0-2 years old. A full report on Digital Diaries is available to download here.

 

This stage of the survey, conducted for AVG by Research Now, consulted over 4000 parents in 11 countries across the world about the behaviour of their teens online and what as parents they do to keep track of their development.