- 28 June 2012 09:57
Tech Savvy Australian Teens Reckon They've Got Their Parents In the Dark About Their Online Behaviour
TECH SAVVY AUSTRALIAN TEENS RECKON THEY’VE GOT THEIR PARENTS IN THE DARK ABOUT THEIR ONLINE BEHAVIOUR
“Secret Life of Teens” Survey Reveals Australian teens hiding online activity from their parents, kids are socially networked by the age of 13, and one third of all teens are breaking the law through piracy, demonstrating the need for cyber safety education
SYDNEY, Australia, 28 June 2012 – Australian teens are tech savvy, socially networked and mobility is second nature. Long gone are the days of all the kids using the one family computer, with over 80 per cent of teens using their laptop, tablet or smartphone to access the internet. Almost 95 per cent of Australian teens have access to a social network with 72 per cent accessing Facebook daily, and on average they’re opening up their first social networking account at the tender age of thirteen, almost half of them without parental assistance or supervision.
In fact, though over 80 per cent of parents trust their teens not to access age-inappropriate content online, and over 50 per cent believe their teens tell them everything they do online, that is certainly not the case.
Teens Hiding Online Behaviour
66.5 per cent of teens said their parents or guardians don’t know everything they do online.
Almost 40 per cent of teens would change their online behaviour if they knew a parent or guardian was watching.
Over 40 per cent of teens said they know how to hide what they do online from parents and guardians, and use a range of methods to do so. Interestingly, an additional 20 per cent of US teens are confident they know how to hide what they do online from their parents.
Steve Redman, President McAfee Asia Pacific said, “Whilst most kids feel safe online and the majority of parents don’t feel the need to control or restrict teens access, one third of teens surveyed are breaking the law though piracy, just over two-thirds post personal information online leaving them vulnerable to cybercrime, and almost one quarter intentionally access nude or pornographic images.”
“These teens don’t realise or properly understand the consequences of their actions. They also don’t understand that once personal information has been posted online, it can’t be taken back. Clearly, we have a problem that needs to be addressed,” said Redman.
Risky and Inappropriate Online Behaviour Over 30 per cent of teens admit to pirating music or movies online. 68 per cent said they’d posted some kind of personal content online such as email addresses, phone numbers, school information and home addresses. Around 20 per cent intentionally access nude or pornographic images – four times as many male respondents as female – with just over 12 per cent viewing online pornography a few times a week. Over half say they do so a few times a year.
Some teens are engaging in potentially dangerous behaviour, including: meeting up with a stranger in real life after meeting online (5.8 per cent); entering into private chat with strangers they’ve met online (8.5 per cent); and sending or posting revealing photos (6 per cent). Girls were shown to be three times more likely (than boys) to post revealing photos of themselves online – 8.5 per cent compared with 3.1 per cent.
“While only a small number of teens are engaging in the riskiest of behaviours, such as meeting strangers from the internet, it’s still happening, with one in twenty teens engaging in this dangerous activity. As a parent, this number is both terrifying and unacceptable. We don’t want our children to be putting themselves in these very real, risky situations,” said Redman.
Cyber Bullying is a Reality for Australian Teens that Parents Need to Better Understand More than a quarter of teens have been victims of cyber bullying with over half of teens witnessing mean or cruel behaviour directed at a classmate or friend online. Over 90 per cent said that this cyber bullying happened on Facebook; not surprising given Facebook is the social network of choice. Thankfully, it’s not all bad. Over 40 per cent of teens indicated they confronted the bully online or in person, with a similar number of teens also talking to their parents, teachers or other adults about the behaviour. Girls are almost twice as likely to talk to adults about online bullying than boys, though that may be due to the fact that over 60 per cent of girls have witnessed online bullying, compared with 45 per cent of boys. Still, this is tough for kids to deal with and many expressed feelings of anger, depression or fear for their own safety.
They’re Using the Internet for Good, Too Over half of Australian teens classify themselves as ‘engaged’, using social networks to talk with others and post their own thoughts and opinions. Many remain in the observer category, and less than 4 per cent identify as Trolls (people who posts inflammatory messages).
While some experienced arguments with friends, and even had friendships end via social networks, more said they actually resolved arguments online and almost half said they’ve gotten help with homework or assignments thanks to social networking. Almost 20 per cent said they turn to online search to educate themselves about sexual topics or sexually transmitted diseases, or for resources about getting help with eating disorders and general advice, such as the Kids Helpline.
Parents Underestimate the Riskiest Behaviour Australian parents understand how much time their teens spend online, with teens admitting to 3.6 hours a day and parents guessing 3.5 hours of use. This shows a greater awareness when compared to the five hours a day spent online by US teens whose parents think they are online for only three. Aussie parents were spot on when they commented on how their kids are accessing the internet, whether it be desktop, laptop or smartphones and they know that one in five teens are now using their smartphones to access the internet.
Redman said, “There is no doubt that the web and related social media bring many benefits to Australian teens, so restricting access is not the answer. And parents have shown themselves to be fairly savvy in their understanding of their children’s time spent online. However, parents underestimate how often Australian teens are engaging in risky online behaviour and the negative impact witnessing cruelty online has on their teens.”
Parents misjudged how much teens are pirating music or movies online (13 per cent versus 30), meeting up with strangers they’ve met online (3.6 per cent versus almost 6) and entering into private chats with strangers they only know online (4.4 per cent versus 8.5). US research showed similar results around teens pirating music or movies however almost twice as many US teens have met up with or entered a private chat with someone they met online, despite their parents having no greater awareness of this than Aussie parents.
62 per cent of Australian teens have had a negative experience of some kind on social networks. Over half have witnessed cruel behaviour online, though only a quarter of parents said they were aware of this, and just over 17 per cent of parents thought their teen had been the target of cyber bullying.
Parental Controls Even though almost 70 per cent of teens believe their parents are monitoring their online behaviour in some shape or form, they also believe they can hide their online activity and almost half take active steps to do so. In actuality, less than half of parents are using any form of online monitoring – be it access to their teens’ passwords, parental controls etc. – and only 10 per cent are setting parental controls on frequently used mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.
Education is the Key “It was great to see from the research that almost 80 per cent of parents are having conversations with their teens about being safe online, but it’s also vital to clarify how often such risky behaviour is actually happening so parents understand the importance of cyber education,” said Redman.
According to Redman, “Teens are spending more time online than ever before, which only makes sense in this digital age, and disturbing behaviour such as cyber bullying is even more of a reality than parents know. Arming our kids with the information they need and talking even more openly about the risks involved and how to deal with them, is a big part of cyber safety.”
“It is critical that government and industry continue to work together with parents and educators to teach our kids about cyber safety from a young age,” said Redman. “We are relentlessly committed to protecting Australians online and are dedicated to improving cyber education in the region.
“McAfee regularly has policy discussions with the Australian government and acts as an advisor on issues of security and defence. As a global organisation, we develop and share content for cyber education, to raise cyber security awareness and to help keep individuals, businesses and families safe online. Today we announced that we are taking an active role in providing cyber education to Australian children, through a partnership with Life Education Australia that will help us reach up to 620,000 students per annum. We are seriously committed to this endeavour.”
About McAfee McAfee, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), is the world's largest dedicated security technology company. McAfee delivers proactive and proven solutions and services that help secure systems, networks, and mobile devices around the world, allowing users to safely connect to the Internet, browse and shop the Web more securely. Backed by its unrivalled Global Threat Intelligence, McAfee creates innovative products that empower home users, businesses, the public sector and service providers by enabling them to prove compliance with regulations, protect data, prevent disruptions, identify vulnerabilities, and continuously monitor and improve their security. McAfee is relentlessly focused on constantly finding new ways to keep our customers safe. http://www.mcafee.com/au
Note: McAfee is a registered trademark or trademark of McAfee, or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others. © 2011 McAfee All rights reserved. The product plans, specifications and descriptions herein are provided for information only, subject to change without notice, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied.
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Incident handling is a vast topic, but here are a few tips for you to consider in your incident response. I hope you never have to use them, but the odds are at some point you will and I hope being ready saves you pain (or your job!).
- Have an incident response plan.
- Pre-define your incident response team
- Define your approach: watch and learn or contain and recover.
- Pre-distribute call cards.
- Forensic and incident response data capture.
- Get your users on-side.
- Know how to report crimes and engage law enforcement.
- Practice makes perfect.
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