Teenage daughter looking messages in a smartphone and ignoring her furious mother. Bad family communication concept by new technologies

How complex are the digital lives of teens? The NCSA takes a look.

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NSCA), a nonprofit organization that promotes the public awareness on cyber security, has released the results of their research study entitled “Keeping Up with Generation App: NCSA Parent/Teen Online Safety Survey”. NSCA’s objective for the study is “to encourage consumer education and awareness about online safety for youth”.

This 11-page white paper (PDF) contains the summary of interviews of 804 online teens between the age of 13 and 17 and 810 online parents, revealing that parents are largely in the dark when it comes to the online activities of teenage children and the possible threats they’re exposed to and experience. Worse, a number of teens interviewed (28%) report that their households have no rules with regard to the use of internet-connected devices.

We have itemized below other key findings from this study:

  • Teenagers in the U.S. use Snapchat (66%) and Instagram (65%) more than they use Facebook (61%) now by a nominal margin. More than half of those interviewed also use KiK Messenger (52%).
  • 62% of teens interviewed spend at least 5 hours online while 39% spend more than 6 hours on a regular day.
  • Majority of teens are concerned about the privacy and security of their personal information online. 47% don’t want other people accessing their accounts without their permission; 43% don’t want other people sharing personal information about them online; and 38% don’t want other people sharing private pictures and videos of themselves.
  • When friends turn to them for help, most teens offer to be sounding boards and provide advise if they can. Some also offer solutions of the technical nature.
  • Teens receive mean or cruel messages from others when talking about their appearance (45%), their sexual orientation (27%), their gender (25%), their race (24%), and their religion (20%).

Majority of teens (78% and 73%, respectively) also reveal that their parents (1) have talked to them about how to use the Internet and their smartphones safely, what should and shouldn’t be shared online; and (2) have taught them how to behave towards others online. Most of these conversations happen when the teens were 10 years or older, while some say these happened to them before they were 10.

You can download the infographic (JPG) on this PR Newswire page for an illustrative summary of the entire report.

“Keeping Up with Generation App: NCSA Parent/Teen Online Safety Survey” is a first in a series of white papers the NCSA is working on with Microsoft.

Stay safe!

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Jovi Umawing


Jovi Umawing

Knows a bit about everything and a lot about several somethings. Writes about those somethings, usually in long-form.