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Digital Citizens, Sunday, December 14, 2014

We’re wrapping up our family online safety survey and the results we’re finding are helping us better understand what concerns you most as part of the Digital Citizens community. Here are some highlights that underscore what issues you find most important when it comes to keeping families safe online.

  • A whopping 55% of respondents cited malware, spyware, and viruses as their number one concern when it comes to keeping their family safe online, continuing a trend we noticed early on. Additionally:
    • 18% said illegal, illicit, or stolen content
    • 16% said online scams
    • 11% said cyber bullying
  • When asked how safe you feel online, here’s how people responded:
    • 14% feel very safe
    • 42% feel somewhat safe
    • 25% feel neither safe nor unsafe
    • 14% feel not very safe
    • 5% feel very unsafe
  • However, when asked how safe they felt their children were online, those numbers shifted somewhat:
    • 8% said very safe
    • 36% said somewhat safe
    • 28% said neither safe nor unsafe
    • 20% said not very safe
    • 8% said very unsafe
  • Interestingly, those numbers shifted even more when the same question was posed regarding survey respondents’ parents—indicating that people are most worried about their parents’ safety online.
    • Only 7% felt their parents were very safe online
    • 13% felt they were somewhat safe
    • 27% felt they were neither safe or unsafe
    • 40% felt they were not very safe
    • 13% felt they were very unsafe
  • When asked how they supervise their family’s Internet usage, 57% of respondents said they don’t do anything, while:
    • 22% said they have guidelines that their family has agreed to
    • 14% said they try to watch what sites their family visits
    • 7% check the browser history
  • Of the top issues we face online, the ones Digital Citizens cited as “extremely important” include:
    • Identity theft (75%)
    • Online predators (65%)
    • Cyber bullying (58%)
    • Content theft (46%)
    • Illegal prescription drugs (41%)

Interestingly, 27% of survey respondents said they had been the victim of identity theft and 52% had a friend, family member, or acquaintance that had.

In Their Own Words

In addition to the insightful statistics we were able to glean from the results of our survey, we also got some great feedback from our Digital Citizens community. Here are just a few things they had to say about additional safeguards that could help protect people from identity theft:

“[We need] higher security measures through companies’ websites making it harder to be the victim. I think it should rely more on the companies adding more and more security measures for consumers.”

“Education is really the only true safeguard – so many people don't recognize phishing emails, they don't know to mouse over a link in an email from 'PayPal' or 'Amazon' or similar to see if it really is linking back to those sites – most times it is not.”

“I use a VPN and advise others to do so. I also have a very strong Internet protection set up.”

And here’s what they had to say when asked how we can help protect children from online predators:

“Teaching kids to be safe themselves, not to give personal info etc.”

“Parental monitoring is the best policy, and get a keystroke program.”

“Educate children about keeping their private lives off the internet, period.”

Finally, some of the best advice we got was when we simply asked for any other comments, ideas or concerns from our Digital Citizens. Here’s what they said:

“Internet security is a very important issue to address and I am glad that your group is…I think groups, parents, and other sponsors are the best way to address these issues, and they need to be addressed. Thank you.”

“Adult cyberbullying/cyber-harassment of women is very common as is cyberbullying based on race, gender, and ethnicity. I'd like to see this addressed.”

“We just need more education addressing safety issues.”

A big thank you to everyone who took our survey—this is helping us understand what issues are most important to you when it comes to keeping your family safe online.

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