Intel Security has released its latest annual Teens, Tweens and Technology Study 2015, in its third year, and has uncovered the good news that incidences of cyberbullying are down, and parent-child online transparency is up.
The security firm, formerly McAfee Security, says the research ‘presents a gauge on the behaviour and opinions of young Australians on online activity and was this year extended to include parental options and insight into future digital higher education and employment aspirations.’
Intel Security’s Digital Safety site is here.
This year, 53% of teens and tweens said that they had witnessed cyberbullying (81% in 2014), with 16% saying that they had experienced it personally (39% in 2014). 87% of children said that they had discussed cyber issues with parents, showing a rise from the previous year’s 76%.
In addition, the study found that 46% of Australia’s youth is interested in learning to program or write code, with 59% hoping to use their cyber skills for protecting individuals’ privacy from being stolen by cybercriminals and 40% for protecting people’s safety from attacks from terrorists.
Parental trust was also up according to the data, with fewer parents (75%) now looking to monitor their child's devices (91% in 2014) and more than two thirds (66%) 'friends' with their children online.
This positive change showcases the impact of ongoing, open conversations and reinforces the need for parent-child conversations in order to help children remain vigilant about maintaining safe digital lives.
Nearly half of parents, however, admitted showing more concern for their child’s online activity due to them using a mobile device (46%), being most interested in how much personal information their child is sharing (24%) and whether their child is unknowingly in contact with predators (23%).
Plenty more detail from the new report below, but first we had a chat on video to Intel Security’s Cybermum, Alex Merton-McCann, whose blog can be found here and also to parenting expert Dr. Justin Coulson from Happy Families.
Here’s our video interview:
Plenty more must-read stats and figures from Intel’s report can be seen in this data sheet (PDF Link).
Melanie Duca, APAC Consumer Marketing Director, Intel Security says, “This year’s data presents some fascinating and telling statements. Since we began our cyber education partnership with Life Education in 2013, our program has reached more than 235,000 students, so we’re very pleased to see that the parent-child cyber conversation is at the highest level we’ve seen. Australian kids are clearly savvier than ever before about both their own digital safety and that of the wider online environment – and that is a great achievement.
“It’s encouraging to see that issues like cyberbullying seem to have lessened to some degree, but there’s a lot more that we can do especially with the youth of today being more social than ever before,” adds Melanie.
Parenting expert Dr. Justin Coulson, adds, “The shift we’re seeing is an encouraging one which confirms that our teens and tweens are increasingly aware of the risks and rewards of online participation. Due to their digitally-connected nature, often youth will be aware of worldwide issues before parents – so I’m not surprised that this has been reflected in the data.
“As teens and tweens’ online usage and participation increases, it’s great to see an increasing desire to take cyber skills further in education and employment. It’s now important that we as parents learn with our children as we progress into an increasingly-connected digital world,” continued Justin.
Melanie adds, “This data represents the new challenge for our cyber education program and we have a great opportunity to use this data in our work with Life Education. With Alastair MacGibbon in office as e-Safety Commissioner, we’re looking forward to continuing our work with Life Education, the Government and industry to continue the ongoing efforts in keeping youth safe online.”
Intel Security’s Cybermum, Alex Merton-McCann, added her Top 5 Cyber Parenting Tips to Help Facilitate Online Safety:
1. Connect With Your Kids: Talk casually and frequently with them about the online risks, and make sure the communication lines are open. Foster discussions around relevant news stories or cases at schools.
2. Set Password Rules: To show camaraderie and trust, teens may share their social media passwords with friends or acquaintances. Friend or not, this is a dangerous practice, so ensure that your kids understand the importance of personal security.
3. Read App Reviews: Read the reviews for the apps your child is interested in, especially for any comments surrounding security. Personal recommendation is also great here, but another tips is to also encourage your kids to read the app’s review before they hit download.
4. Establish Rules Together: When everyone is calm, work out a set of online rules. You could even consider a formal Internet agreement or contract. Make sure you include time allowed online as well as what information can and can’t be shared online.
5. Up Your Tech Knowledge: Stay one step ahead and take the time to research the various devices your kids use – but also stay knowledgeable about the newest and latest social networks too. I would recommend creating accounts for the social networks that your kids are using, so that you fully understand what they’re interacting with.
You’ll find more ‘Social Card’ infographics at this link while Intel Security’s big infographic is embedded below.