AVG Survey Indicates the Internet is Partly to Blame for Accelerating Loss of Innocence Among Children

June 4, 2014

Global Survey Finds Fewer than Half of Parents Have Talked to Their Children About Adult Themes Found Online

Judith Bitterli, Chief Marketing Officer for AVG Technologies

(Bellevue, WA, Wednesday, June 4, 2014) – Everyone remembers hearing about the birds and the bees from their parents, but these days the Internet is causing that conversation to happen sooner than it did in previous generations. New research from AVG Technologies shows that parents believe the Internet exposes kids to adult themes – such as sex, drugs, violence and porn – at an increasingly younger age, and has influenced when parents decide to have their first ‘adult’ talk with their children.

The research also shows that parents overwhelmingly feel they bear the responsibility – more so than schools, teachers, search engines, the government, etc. – for making the Internet safer for children. 

Highlights of the research results include:

  • 7 out of 10 parents plan to have their first ‘adult’ talk with their children by the age of 11 years old – covering mature topics such as sex, porn and puberty.
  • This age is up to five years earlier than the previous generation; more than half (54%) of today’s parents do not remember having the conversation until the age of 15, and 40% do not recall having it at all.
  • Many parents acknowledged their lack of ability to keep up with their tech-savvy children with 56% believing their children will know more about the Internet than they do by the time they’re only 13.
  • Two-thirds of parents talk to their children about what websites they can visit online, but less than half of the parents surveyed have had conversations with their kids about unsettling things they might see online.
  • More than half of today’s parents do not set boundaries on the amount of time their children spend online, or restrict downloading games, videos or music.

Despite more than eight out of ten parents implementing various rules for their children, less than a third (29%) of the children asked alongside their parents thought that the Internet was dangerous. To learn more about this survey, as well as other privacy tips and guidance, visit blogs.avg.com

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