It is possible to be safe while browsing the internet, but some common sense needs to be in place. Predators, bullies, and those who would use personal information for ill intent are everywhere online today.
95% of social media-using teens who have witnessed cruel behavior on social networking sites say they have seen others ignoring the mean behavior.
What this means is that people are trying to stick to themselves online. They don’t step in to lend a helping hand when it is needed. This means for the 55% of online users who see abuse happening frequently online, there is no place to turn for help. That’s why having an increased awareness of internet safety is so important.
- The number of children between the ages of 6-17 who say they’ve been exposed to hardcore pornography while browsing online: 42%.
- 29%. That’s the percentage of parents that allow their children to use the internet without restriction or supervision.
- 1 in 20. That’s the number of children who will meet strangers online and then arrange a secret meeting with them.
- The percentage of children who pretend to be older while browsing online than they really are: 25%.
- 1 in 12 kids have exchanged messages with strangers that were sexual in nature.
- The number of kids ages 6-17 who say they have sent graphic photographs of themselves online at least once: 1 in 25.
If something goes onto the internet, then it is going to stay on the internet for good. It might hit the dark net or it might be privately saved and stored, but it is going to be somewhere for public consumption. That’s why teaching kids about the need to be safe while online is so important. Children could very literally ruin their lives before they even get started. Setting up firewalls, monitoring computer activity, and receiving danger alerts for personal information sharing are all easy ways that parents can increase the safety profiles of their children.
Predators Are Everywhere Online Today
- Only 18% of youth will use an online chat room today, but almost all internet-based sexually based offenses against children are started in a chat room.
- Since it’s creation, the number of child pornography images that have been analyzed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: 80 million.
- 82% of predators will use social networking websites to determine what their victim likes and dislikes to make the encounter proceed more smoothly.
- 65% of online sex offenders used the victim’s social networking site to gain home and school information about the victim.
- Just 1 in 3 sexual crimes are reported to a trusted adult.
- At least 200 million girls and 100 million boys will be sexually victimized before they reach adulthood.
- 26% of online sex offenders used a victim’s social networking site to gain information about the victim’s whereabouts at a specific time.
- 4 out of 10 online sexual solicitors online is under the age of 18.
- 13% of 2nd-3rd grade students report that they used the Internet to talk to people they do not know and 11% of those kids say that they were asked to describe private things about their bodies.
- It takes 60 seconds or less, on average, for a predator to contact a potential new victim.
- Although unverified, it is believed that 40% of the missing children that are reported to authorities had a first contact with a predator in a chat room.
When we talk about internet safety, we tend to discuss keeping personal ID numbers and other data secret. What we overlook is the fact that our children today are trusting of many people, don’t like to keep secrets, and believe that all people are generally good. In a perfect world, this would be so. This isn’t a perfect world and there are children routinely exploited because of their innocence. This is why paying attention to current internet safety statistics is so important. It is the best way to discover how people are trying to get at kids today so they can be stopped.
Are We Selling Our Online Safety?
- 16% of all US adults state that they would be welling to share their online habits in exchange for receiving a better overall browsing experience.
- Two-thirds of Americans are willing to give companies access to their personal information to receive discounts, better products, or better services.
- People are more likely to share their mobile phone number online [71%] than they are to share their web browser history [61%].
- Internet users are more likely to trust a social network with their personal data [42%] than they are a search engine [35%].
- 82%. That’s the percentage of US adults who believe that wearable technology will create internet safety concerns.
- Only 39% of US consumers are concerned about the data that cookies are able to obtain about their online habits.
- Only half of people who access the internet regularly will regularly read privacy policies when they are offered.
Your Apps Could Be Exposing Your Personal Information
- In a 2012 study of downloaded apps, 18.6% of them were able to access a user’s address book, including the personal contact details that had been saved to each entry.
- 1 in 3 apps has been given permission to display ads directly to users, even if the app isn’t active at that point in time.
- 42% of apps that send data out to third parties do not make any effort to encrypt that data.
- The percentage of apps that are authorized to track the locations of users, even when running in the background: 41.4%.
- 16%. That’s the percentage of apps that are allowed to post to Facebook as the user regarding app activities.
“This app wants to connect to Facebook, access your public profile, your friends list, and your personal contact information.” It seems so easy to click the “OK” button when that pops up, right? The app has been downloaded, it might have cost a few bucks to get it, and you’re excited to try it out. The only problem is that with the modern app, not only could you be selling your own data, but you could be throwing your friends under the bus as well. Privacy controls can help to prevent this, but more than half of Americans don’t know how to improve the security of their profiles. When it comes to internet safety, we really are our own worst enemy.
When Are We Most Concerned About Our Internet Safety?
- 71% of internet users say that they are concerned about their internet safety and privacy when accessing bank account information or financial data.
- The percentage of internet users who are concerned with internet safety while shopping: 57%.
- Internet users are 4x more likely to be concerned about their internet safety when accessing bank accounts when compared to accessing pornography.
- Only 10% of internet users are concerned about internet safety as they are looking up information about a past romantic relationship.
- 27% of people think about internet safety when they reference themselves in some way while online.
- 32% of kids in their teens hide their browsing history from their parents or guardians to try to prevent them from seeing which sites they visit.
- The percentage of teens that have a hidden email address or social networking account: 16%.
- 11% of kids who have access to the internet say that they know how to turn off the installed parental controls.
It is easy to blame everyone else for the lack of safety that is available on the internet today, but the fact is that we’re doing this all to ourselves. All it takes is one moment of trust for a child to access something online that they shouldn’t access. It is that one moment that can change a life forever. The same is true with adults. One Craigslist advertisement, one ill-advised social media post, or one mean-spirited individual can ruin a reputation or even take a life. Internet safety can be improved, but we have to do it at the individual level. Knowing internet safety statistics like these is a good first step.