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Youth Internet Safety Survey Results

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Internet Family Fun Home > Internet Safety > Youth Internet Safety Survey Results

Are Your Children In Danger?

If you put your teenager and four of their friends in a room, chances are, one of them has been solicited for sex online. This alarming statistic was released on Tuesday, by the Crimes Against Children Research Center. The study reports that almost one in five U.S. teenagers have had unwanted solicitation for sex while online.

The study was funded by the U.S. Congress through a grant to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. It consisted of a telephone survey of 1,501 teenagers between the ages of 10 and 17 who were online regularly. It took place between August 1999 and February 2000 and the participants were 53% male and 47% female.

Of the 20% that had unwanted solicitation for sex, one-third were male while the other two-thirds were female. One in thirty-three participants of the study were aggressively pursued which included the solicitor asking to meet them somewhere, calling them on the telephone, sending numerous emails, gifts and/or money. Other alarming statistics included the fact that 25% (one in four) had unintentional exposure to pornographic images while online in the past year.

Surprisingly, only about 25% of the teens that were solicited told their parents about their experience, while 40% told their parents about seeing pornographic images. Less than 10% of solicitation and 3% of unwanted pornography incidences were reported to a law-enforcement agency, an Internet service provider, or a hotline. According to the study only one-third of surveyed homes that had Internet access had any filtering or blocking software installed.

So what can you do to protect your children?

  • Talk openly with your children about the dangers and what they should do if they encounter a solicitation or disturbing images. Sign an Internet Safety Agreement with your entire family that spells out what you should do and say while online.
  • Install filtering software to help block out unwanted pornography.
  • Learn about the dangers that are online. Information about Internet Safety is available on this site.
  • Report unwanted sexual advances and unwanted pornography to your Internet service provider or the CyberTipLine run by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. If the situation is serious it should be immediately reported to a law enforcement agency.
Although you may be tempted to disconnect the Internet from your home, remember that benefits outweigh the danger if you use the resource correctly and conscientiously.

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Internet Cookies Checking History of Websites Visited Parents are Responsible for Their Child's Actions Online Secure Your Wireless Access Point
Home Computer Security Are Your Kids Spending Too Much Time Online? Selecting the Right Filtering Solution for Your Family ISP Based Filtering
Simple Steps to Stay Safe Online Safe Searching Report Child Pornography Agree to Family Safety Rules
Common Mistakes Families Make Online Talking With Kids About Uncomfortable Issues Statistics About Internet Dangers Kids and Chat
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