An estimated fifty thousand sexual predators are online at any given time. Networking sites puts young people at increased risk of sexual encounters with predators. My contribution to this weeks Thursday Thirteen brings you some important internet facts and statistics.
There was a time when we worried about strangers in the park and in the school yards. Now some 57% of parents worry that strangers will contact their children online and according to statistics parents should have reason for concern.
Some frightening statistics you should be aware of.
- 72% of parents think that their children use the Internet safely.
- 30% of children age 10 – 14 spend 6-10 hours a week online.
- 11% of children age 10-14 have been asked by a stranger for personal information.
- 7 in 10 children believe the information they put online and send to friends is private.
- 29% 7-17 year olds would freely give out a home address and 14% of 7-17 year olds would freely give out email address.
- 90 % of 8-16 year olds have viewed porn online with 80% of 15-17 year olds having had multiple hard-core exposures to pornography.
- One out of five children age 10-17 have received unwanted sexual solicitations online and approximately 89% of sexual solicitations of youth were made in either chat rooms or through Instant Messaging.
- 24% of teens claim that their parents are never around when they’re online; 6% of parents said they were never around when their kids were online.
- 97% of Internet pornography sites now run basically on an honor system — if a child simply asserts that they are over 18, they get access to the sites.
- A survey of 600 households conducted by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children found that 20% of parents do not know any of their children’s Internet passwords, instant messaging nicknames or email addresses.
- 27% of online teens reported talking about sex online with someone they have never met in person.
- 30% of online teens have talked about meeting someone they have only met through the Internet.
The Internet can be a wonderful resource for children, but it can be a dangerous one too. Familiarize yourself with your children’s online activities. Talk to your kids about online safety and take advantages of the software that is there to protect them, but remember that no software will protect them 100 %. It is up to you to supervise their online activity. Children’s best online protection starts with you.
Polly Klaas Foundation survey