Life Behind the Screens of Dad and mom, Tweens, and Teenagers: McAfee’s Linked Household Examine


How do mother and father and kids join and shield themselves on-line? We spoke with hundreds of them all over the world to seek out out.

In December 2021 we performed a research about beliefs and behaviors about life on-line amongst members of linked households—as people and as a household unit. Dad and mom and kids have been surveyed collectively, with mother and father answering first after which bringing their kids in to consent and reply, resulting in findings that signify linked households throughout 10 totally different nations.

By means of this research, we uncovered common beliefs about on-line safety, together with a number of nuances, all of which pinpointed a number of tensions between mother and father and kids with regards to staying protected whereas having fun with life on-line.

4 broader subjects introduced themselves by means of this research, with every matter presenting a number of follow-on findings. Right here, we’ll check out every matter and contact on just a few of the a number of findings discovered inside every, adopted by a hyperlink the place you possibly can obtain the complete report with its full set of insights and tendencies.

Matter One: Cellular Maturity

Whereas our tweens and tweens appear to develop into adults proper earlier than our eyes, their lives on-line mature into maturity as nicely—thanks largely to their cell units.

Our research discovered that kids between 15 and 16 years previous see their cell utilization soar considerably, a lot in order that it approaches ranges that they may carry into maturity. But their linked lives begin a lot earlier, with smartphones and cell units main the way in which on-line. The result’s that the majority tweens and younger teenagers right this moment have entry to the expansive web within the palm of their hand, which exposes them to the broader web filled with apps, chats, leisure, and social media—together with the advantages and dangers almost straight away.

So far as the dangers are involved, tweens and younger teenagers reported on their expertise with cyberbullying, account theft, and unauthorized use of their private knowledge. Right here it seems that a number of kids have been uncovered to those dangers at an early age.

Whereas these experiences begin early with 10–14-year-olds, publicity to on-line dangers solely improve as teenagers become old. By age 17 to 18, studies of cyberbullying improve to 18%, tried theft of a web-based account to 16%, and unauthorized use of private knowledge to 14%.

Matter Two: Dad and mom as Safekeepers

So far as life on-line is worried, kids look to their mother and father to maintain them protected. Whereas mother and father settle for that position, our research discovered that they seem to have problem in following by means of.

Kids stated that their mother and father are finest suited to show them about being protected on-line, making them the clear winners throughout all classes. Almost three-quarters of kids pointed to oldsters, almost twice than lecturers in school (39%) and greater than twice over for on-line assets (34%).

Trying on the causes for that response extra intently, 63% tweens and youths worldwide felt that their mother and father know sufficient to guard their safety and privateness. This determine was greater for youthful kids (65%) after which decreased as they reached their late teenagers (55%). As famous earlier, an rising variety of kids of their late teenagers have skilled on-line dangers at this level, maybe resulting in much less confidence that their mother and father certainly have the information to maintain them protected.

Dad and mom acknowledge their position as protectors on-line, simply as they acknowledge their duty to guard their kids within the broader world. An awesome 90% of oldsters worldwide agreed with this sentiment. Like their kids, mother and father felt that lecturers in school performed a task as nicely at 36%. Nevertheless, their second high response was web suppliers, weighing in at 41%.

But whereas mother and father say they view themselves as protectors, there’s a niche between intent and energy. On PCs and laptops, mother and father reported the net safety measures they took for themselves, which seem comparatively low given the provision and ease of use with such measures—like putting in antivirus software program (68%), defending the pc with a password (58%), or sticking to respected on-line shops when buying (50%).

These figures drop but decrease when requested in the event that they took comparable precautions for his or her kids. Thus, as mother and father shield themselves at a low price, they shield their kids at a price that’s but even decrease.

Furthermore, when it got here to safety on smartphones, the numbers have been equally low, and sometimes decrease than the speed of safety on PCs and laptops. For instance, whereas 56% of oldsters stated that they shield their smartphone with a password or passcode, solely 42% stated they do the identical for his or her baby’s smartphone—an additional 14% drop.

Matter Three: The Secret Lives of Tweens and Teenagers On-line

It’s no secret that teenagers and tweens could conceal their actions on-line. In actual fact, they’ve stated as a lot.

Our analysis discovered that greater than half of kids (59%) take some motion to cover what they’re as much as on-line. When requested for particulars, tweens and youths talked about the next:

  • Clearing the browser historical past, 26%.
  • Shut/reduce browser when dad or mum walked in, 21%.
  • Disguise or delete IMs or movies, 15%.
  • Browse with incognito mode, 15%.
  • Lie or omit particulars about on-line actions, 15%.
  • Use a tool their mother and father don’t examine, 10%.

As kids get older, these privacy-keeping actions solely improve, significantly with regards to clearing browser historical past and utilizing incognito mode of their browser.

Likewise, it seems that it’s no secret kids are talking privately with individuals they don’t know on-line. When requested in the event that they imagine their kids are having conversations with out understanding an individual’s actual id, 34% of oldsters stated sure. As for youngsters, 37% stated sure, marking a 3% distinction in consciousness between mother and father and kids.

Damaged down by age bracket, 36% of kids from ages 10 to 14 say they’re having these conversations, which jumps as much as 41% at ages 15 to 16. Later, from ages 17 to 18, that determine drops to 39%.

Matter 4: Gendered Safety Bias

Dad and mom in our research stated that they take totally different measures for girls and boys with regards to defending them on-line. An obvious gender bias finds ladies extra protected than boys, but it’s boys who encounter extra points on-line.

Retaining tabs of a kid’s security on-line takes many varieties, some involving apps and software program on a baby’s system, others that require mother and father to take a extra lively hand.

As for security on units, parental controls software program gives one methodology for monitoring on-line exercise, with options that control kids’s exercise, restrict display screen time, and that block and filter sure apps and web sites.

Parental controls software program seems to stay a well-liked choice. On PCs and laptops, 33% of oldsters reported utilizing it. On cell units, the determine held at 33% as nicely.

Additional, mother and father stated that they relied on different approaches to assist hold their kids protected, citing a number of different methods they oversee their kids’s time on-line. For instance, within the case of monitoring exercise on their baby’s cell system, mother and father say they may:

  • Restrict the time of day or size of time when the kid has display screen time, 59%.
  • Examine the web sites or apps the kid visits or makes use of, 56%.
  • Have a look at name data or textual content messages on a smartphone the kid makes use of, 40%.
  • Pal or observe the kid on social media websites, 35%.
  • Observe the kid’s location by means of GPS apps or software program, 30%.

Nevertheless, accounting for age and gender, variations in the usage of parental controls come up. Women of their tweens and early teenagers see extra safety from parental controls software program than boys do.

For instance, ladies 10-14 have been extra possible than boys of the identical age to have parental controls on PCs on laptops in each nation surveyed (besides Canada), and on cell in each nation (besides Germany).

This pattern extends to a number of of the extra hands-on approaches, with ladies seeing them utilized extra usually than boys. For instance, within the U.S.:

  • 47% of oldsters say they may examine the searching and e mail historical past on the PCs of their daughters aged 10 to 14. For boys of the identical age, that determine is way decrease at 33%.
  • The numbers for cell units have been additionally comparable, with reported checks for ladies at 48% and for boys at 35%.

Based mostly on studies from boys, they’re extra prone to expertise a spread of on-line threats extra ceaselessly than ladies do—with points starting from tried account theft, a monetary info leak, and unauthorized use of their private knowledge.

In the meantime, it’s ladies who’re adopting on-line actions at a price a lot quicker than boys, at the very least on cell. Women aged 10 to 14 are inclined to stream music, use social media, and go browsing buying greater than boys their age.

In all, ladies report that they’re reaping the advantages of on-line life sooner than boys and with comparatively fewer safety points. In the meantime, for boys, that equation is flipped. Their on-line lives mature extra slowly, but they discover themselves experiencing safety points extra usually.

Additional findings

We’ve seen simply how younger kids are after they attain maturity, at the very least when it comes to their lives on-line.
By their mid-teens, they’re utilizing computer systems, laptops, and smartphones at charges that can carry into maturity. With that, they’re already experiencing among the dangers and points that adults do, resembling tried account theft, improper use of knowledge, and leaks of economic info.

These signify just a few of the numerous insights and tendencies present in our full report on linked households. Others embrace noteworthy variations throughout nations, resembling which nations report the very best ranges of cyberbullying and which nation has almost 100% of its younger kids saying they use a smartphone usually. But extra findings reveal insights into display screen time, online game utilization, and a breakdown of the highest on-line actions for teenagers—and lots of extra methods households are rising up collectively by means of their lives on-line.

Click on right here for a full copy of the report.

Survey Methodology

In December 2021 McAfee LLC performed a research about beliefs and behaviors round digital participation and on-line safety amongst members of linked households—as people and as a household unit.

World survey of oldsters and kids, with kids answering alongside their mother and father.

Dad and mom and kids have been surveyed collectively, with mother and father answering first after which bringing their kids in to consent and reply.
These findings signify linked households not collections of people.


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