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Digital Citizens News

Advocates, Parents, and Families Weigh In About Online Concerns

Published Thursday, December 18, 2014

Digital Citizens Survey Shows Families Concerned About Malware and Identity Theft

Washington, DC – The Digital Citizens Alliance has released the results of its Family Online Safety Survey. As part of the Digital Families Project, Digital Citizens Alliance asked advocates, parents and families to provide feedback on what concerned them about online safety and respect. The results provide valuable insight into what issues matters to keeping families safe online. Some of the most notably findings include:

  • 55 percent of respondents cited malware, spyware, and viruses as their number one concern when it comes to keeping their family safe online.
  • When asked how safe they felt their children were online, 56 percent of respondents expressed concerns their children were not adequately protected online.
  • When asked about their own parents, 40 percent said they were not very safe and 13 percent replied they were very unsafe.
  • 75 percent of respondents cited identity theft as an “extremely important” issue for them when using the Internet.
  • 27 percent of respondents said they had been the victim of identity theft and 52 percent had a friend, family member, or acquaintance that had.

“Children and seniors are most vulnerable internet users when it comes to online predators, scammers, and hackers”, said Digital Citizens Deputy Executive Director Adam Benson. “With our Family Online Safety Survey we wanted to hear from parents so we can craft solutions to the challenges they face online. Our results clearly show families are running into malware, spyware and other nasty viruses on the Internet. This is major concern for families and we hope our research and Digital Families Project can help them, and our most vulnerable communities, stay safe. “

Here’s just a few things some respondents shared on the survey:

“[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.”

“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.”

Benson added, “The Internet is a wonderful thing. It has helped us connect, do business and play in ways once thought unimaginable. Given the ubiquity and power the Internet, users and companies owe it to themselves and their customers to keep them safe online.”

More in-depth results, which can be found here, provide a broader look at what the respondents has to say. Other areas of concern for respondents include online predators, cyberbullying, content theft and illegal prospection drugs. Additionally, the Digital Citizens’ online community hosted a Twitter chat to discuss the Survey and additional ways families can stay safe online. You can follow the conversation here.

The Digital Citizens Alliance launched the Digital Families Project this fall. The Digital Families Project is a Digital Citizens Alliance initiative to engage and involve parents, influential family bloggers, Internet safety experts, educators, child and senior advocates, and responsible Internet companies in our efforts to make the Internet a safer place for users of all ages. If you would like to learn more about the Digital Families Project, please visit our website and follow Digital Citizens Alliance on Facebook and Twitter (@4SaferInternet).



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