Children may be using the Internet for schoolwork or innocent social activities – but they're also actively searching for topics their parents may not be too comfortable with.
According to research from Symantec's OnlineFamily.Norton, kids’ top 100 search terms include sites like YouTube, eBay and Craigslist, as well as social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. However, the words “sex” and “porn” also made it to the top, ranking number four and six respectively.
Number nine on the list was “fred,” for Fred Figglehorn, a popular fictional character whose YouTube channel has become a hit among kids. Other popular search terms include Michael Jackson, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, and the Black Eyed Peas’ song “Boom Boom Pow.”
Symantec reckons that, since its launch in April 2009, OnlineFamily.Norton has provided parents using the service with more than 90-million “teachable moments” with their children.
By blocking attempts to visit “bad” Web sites or chat with IM buddies and alerting parents to these activities in realtime, OnlineFamily.Norton has given parents millions of opportunities to have “the talk” about the bits and the bytes, as well as appropriate online behavior, with their children.
“We’ve found through the Norton Online Living Family Survey that both parents and kids want to speak with each other more frequently about their day-to-day lives, not just the 'big issues',” says Marian Merritt, Symantec’s Internet Safety Advocate.
“This can seem like a daunting task, but with a tool like OnlineFamily.Norton, which is built on a philosophy of dialogue, parents can stay in the loop on what their kids are doing online. It also helps identify “teachable moments” when parents should be talking with their kids about appropriate online behavior and other issues in their kids’ online lives.”