July 31, 2007

What are parents doing to protect teens online?

Recent headlines about the discovery and removal of 29,000 registered sex offenders on MySpace have added fuel to the fiery debate about the safety of online social networks.

In an article that ran today in the Washington Post, data from our “Teens, Privacy and Online Social Networks” report was cited in reference to the type of information teens disclose on their profiles. Hemanshu Nigam, a former federal prosecutor who is now the chief security officer for MySpace, was quoted in the article as saying, “Parents are our first line of defense, and we want to empower them.”

So, what are parents doing to protect their teens online? Here’s a quick snapshot of some of the technical and non-technical measures parents use:

* Overall, 85% say they have rules about the kind of personal information their child can share online.

* 74% say the computer their child uses is in a public place in the home.

* 65% say they check up on their child’s internet use after they go online.

* 53% use some type of filtering software.

* 45% use some type of monitoring software.

For more information about the steps parents are taking, please see our full report.