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2,800 Kids Worldwide Speak Out on Cyber Safety: Not All Fun and Games Online


Norton Report Finds Over Six in 10 Kids Have Had Negative Online Experiences—From Exposure to Nudity and Violence to Having a Stranger Try to Meet Them in Real Life

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) Kids around the globe are growing up in an online world, learning to navigate not just the Web, but new rules, emotions and unfortunately, some negative experiences.

* Angry. Upset. Afraid. – Kids reported these feelings about negative online experiences.
* More than half feel some personal responsibility for their negative online experiences.[1]
* Nearly seven in 10 say they would turn to their parents if something bad happened online.[2]
* But nearly half think they are more careful online than their parents. Twenty percent actually say their parents have “no idea” what they are doing online.

The Norton Online Family Report, released today, is a good reminder for parents to plug in to their kids’ online lives, if they’re not already – especially with kids spending an average of 10 percent more time online per month than last year[3]. Over the past three years, Norton has examined the gaps between parents and kids with respect to their online beliefs and behaviors. With this year’s report, Norton also looked at the emotional impact of online experiences on kids and their online codes of conduct.

Norton went straight to the source, surveying 2,800 kids and more than 7,000 adults in 14 countries about their online lives and experiences. The resulting study, the Norton Online Family Report, was conducted by research company StrategyOne and examines kids’ actual online experiences compared with parents’ assumptions – with some surprising results.

According to Editor and Co-Director Anne Collier, who collaborated with Norton on the study: “This report provides a rare glimpse into the online lives of young people in many countries – in their own words. Not only does it send a clear message that the online safety and security issues around parenting are universal, it offers insights and information that can empower parents worldwide to help kids use the Internet safely and keep family communication about technology open and ongoing – the number-one Net-safety best practice at home, school, and everywhere.”

One Gap Closed

In 2008[4], Norton found that kids reported spending nearly 10 times as much time online as parents realized. In 2009, the gap shrunk to kids reporting being online twice as much as parents realized. This year, kids and parents are fully in sync about the about of time kids spend online – closing one major gap.

Parents Aren’t Clued In

However, only 45 percent of parents realize their kids are having negative experiences. While parents are generally aware of the activities kids participate in online, they underestimate the extent to which kids download music and videos, activities in which kids may be exposed to inappropriate content and encouraged to disclose personal details.

Kids’ Emotions

Kids are feeling the powerful emotional impact of negative online experiences. Children are most likely to feel angry (39 percent), upset (36 percent), afraid (34 percent) and fearful/worried (34 percent) as a result of such an incident. One-fifth of kids worldwide regret something they’ve done online. Further, kids feel some personal responsibility for these negative experiences, especially downloading a virus or being scammed.

The Good News

Kids actually want more parental involvement in their online lives. In addition to relying on their parents if something bad happened online, nearly nine in 10 report they follow family rules for Internet use. In addition, most kids say they have online manners: nearly seven in 10 say they don’t bully and aren’t mean to others online, over six in 10 say they don’t harass or stalk others online, and nearly six in 10 refrain from passing on embarrassing photos or posts about others. More than half wouldn’t do or say anything online that they wouldn’t do or say off-line.

New Tips for Parents

While kids are aware of many common sense rules for staying safe online, the old rules are not enough to keep up with the fast-changing online world. In addition to talking to kids, keeping security software up to date and using tools specifically designed for kids’ safety, parents can improve kids’ online experiences with new tips that combine technology and communication.

* Prepare your kids for good or bad experiences online – don’t wait until after something happens.
* Highlight the importance of thinking before clicking and downloading.
* To protect against malicious links on social networks, use a free tool such as the Norton Safe Web scanner application for Facebook, which uses site rating technology to scan members’ news feeds.
* Use a search advisor to help identify if a website is safe versus unsafe.
* Let your kids know that what happens to them online is a shared responsibility – children cannot take all of the responsibility for what happens to them online.

The award-winning Norton Online Family service can give parents insight into their kids’ lives online. Launched worldwide today, Norton Online Family is now available free of charge in 25 languages.

View the full Norton Online Family Report here.

About Norton from Symantec

Symantec’s Norton products protect consumers from cybercrime with technologies like antivirus, anti-spyware and phishing protection-- while also being light on system resources. The company also provides services such as online backup and PC tuneup, and family online safety. Fan Norton on Facebook at and follow @NortonOnline on Twitter.

About Symantec

Symantec is a global leader in providing security, storage and systems management solutions to help consumers and organizations secure and manage their information-driven world. Our software and services protect against more risks at more points, more completely and efficiently, enabling confidence wherever information is used or stored. More information is available at

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Norton Online Family Report Methodology:

The Norton Online Family Report 2010 is based on research conducted in February 2010 by StrategyOne, an independent market research firm, on behalf of Symantec Corporation. StrategyOne conducted an online survey among:

* 7,066 adults aged 18 and over. Of this group, 1,669 were parents of children aged eight – 17 who completed a separate five minute parent-focused survey.
* 2,805 children aged eight – 17 who spend more than one hour online per month.

The survey was conducted in 14 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States). The survey was conducted in the primary language of each country. Questions asked were identical across all countries, with some overlap between the adult and children surveys. Interviews were conducted between 2nd – 22nd February 2010. The margin of error for the total sample of adults (N=7,066) is + 1.16% at the 95% level of confidence. The margin of error for the total sample of parents, defined as parents with children aged 8-17, (N=1,669) is + 2.39% at the 95% level of confidence. The margin of error for the total sample of children (N=2,805) is + 1.85% at the 95% level of confidence.

For the study, Norton and StrategyOne collaborated with Anne Collier, editor of and founder and executive director of its parent organization, Net Family News, Inc. Anne is a writer and journalist who has worked in the news media since 1980. She co-directs, a Web-based interactive forum and information site for teens, parents, educators, and everybody interested in the impact of the social Web on youth and vice versa. ConnectSafely is a project of Net Family News, Inc. Anne has just completed her work as co-chair of the Obama administration’s Online Safety & Technology Working Group and serves on the advisory boards of the London- and Washington-based Family Online Safety Institute and, a project of the Washington-based Internet Education Foundation. In 2008, she served on the Internet Safety Technical Task Force at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

[1] The average percentage among those kids who reported having had a negative online experience. Negative online experiences included: downloading a virus; responding to online scams; having someone they don’t know online try to meet them in the real world, having someone try to get them to do something online they thought was wrong; seeing violent/nude images; receiving “sexts” of someone they know; being bullied via mobile; being bullied via computer; or receiving “sexts” of someone they don’t know.

[2] The average percentage of kids who reported that they would be most likely to turn to parents/guardians if any of the following happened online: someone online threatened them with physical harm in real life; they saw something suspicious or inappropriate online (like horrible images or websites); they had an email or a pop up offering you a big prize or asking them to send money; someone was threatening or black-mailing them online; or their social networking account was hijacked or hacked into.

[3] The Norton Online Living Report 2009 surveyed online adults and children in 12 countries (U.S., Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, China, Japan, India, Australia, and Brazil). Additional methodology available upon request.

[4] The Norton Online Living Report 2008 surveyed online adults and children in eight countries (U.S., UK, France, Germany, China, Japan, Australia, and Brazil). Additional methodology available upon request.


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