SURVEY: AVG Digital Diaries: Digital Coming of Age

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AVG, a leading security company, has been studying how the Internet affects children.

Since 2010 AVG Technologies has been sponsoring research into  how the Internet is impacting children as they play, learn, and grow up in today’s digital world.  Over the last three years, they have been publishing studies of different age ranges and how the internet is affecting them.

The latest study, titled Digital Coming of Age, surveyed 4,400 parents with 14-17 year olds in 11 countries.  The other studies  are the following:

Digital Birth focused on children from birth to age 2. The study, released in October 2010, found that on average infants acquire a digital identity by the age of 6-months-old. Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of children have had their pre-birth scans uploaded to the Internet by their parent — having a digital footprint even before birth.

Digital Skills was released in January 2011 to show that for 2- to 5-year-olds ‘tech’ skills are increasingly replacing ‘life’ skills. In fact, many toddlers could use a mouse and play a computer game, but could not ride a bike, swim or tie their shoelaces.

Digital Playground  was released in June 2011, found nearly half of 6- to 9-year-olds talk to friends online and use social networks.

Digital Maturity  was released  in November 2011, revealed that many  11 year olds had adult skills in technology.

Digital Coming of Age, which was just recently released, focuses on kids ages 14-17.  It had some very interesting findings, including the following:

• Twenty percent of American parents suspect their children are accessing pornography or  illegal music downloads; and 5 percent suspect their children of  gambling.

• Twenty percent of American parents also suspect their teens of “sexting”  via their mobile phones.

• Almost half of parents in the U.S. believe their teens conduct  relationships with friends and family via their mobile phones, yet only  9 percent think these relationships are sexual.

• An overwhelming 80 percent of U.S. parents believe their teens have never met  someone in person that they first met online.

•Forty percent of American parents worry the content their children post to Facebook and other social networks will affect their children’s job prospects down the road.

•Nearly half of all parents around the globe felt that schools were not effective in teaching their teens to responsibly use the Internet.

• UK parents are most likely to suspect teens of ‘sexting’

• Nearly 25  percent of UK parents suspect their kids of sexting, compared with US  (21%), Australia (22%), Spain (21%), Canada (20%), New Zealand (17%),  Japan (15%), Italy (11%), France (10%), Czech Republic (13%) and Germany  (9%).

• Spanish parents are (45%) most suspicious their teens are illegally  downloading music, compared with parents in the US (19%), Czech  Republic (35%), France (30%), UK (28%), Australia and New Zealand (27%).

• Just under half of parents surveyed are concerned their teens mobile  photos are geo-tagged.

• Twenty percent of UK and US parents suspect their teens of accessing  pornography on their PC , in comparison to over a quarter of Spanish  parents.

 • Twenty percent of UK and US parents have seen explicit or abusive  messages on their children’s social networks, compared with over 25  percent of Australian and New Zealand parents.

Here’s a video that they made giving parents some ideas about how to help their children.

And elow you’ll find a SCRIBD document about the project.

An AVG Digital Diaries guide for parents - putting yourself in your childrens' shoes

(If you can’t see this document because you can’t view Flash, then please visit the above link)
Or you can go directly to the AVG Digital Diaries website:


 Adam Gertsacov is the co-founder and co-organizer of Digital Family Summit.  He wears many hats, including those of a professional clown, an author and publisher, an artist/educator, a non-profit administrator, a P.T. Barnum impersonator, a flea circus impresario, and the esteemed hat of the Clown Laureate of Greenbelt, Maryland.  

In his copious freetime, he blogs at and, as well as a few other places.
You can find out more about his clown work at
Filed under: Issues & Ideas

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