Monday, August 17, 2009

Do you Pay Attention to what your Teens are Searching?

This is a great article to remind us to watch what your students do online: Read it

Out of 3.5 million searches tracked for users of Symantec’s OnlineFamily.Norton software, kids have been surfing the ‘Net for “Facebook” and “MySpace” almost as much as the keywords “sex” and “porn.”

The OnlineFamily.Norton service lets parents monitor their children’s Web activities and notifies parents if something looks questionable. Families can create a profile in their OnlineFamily.Norton account for each child and the Norton Safety Minder will monitor their use and report back to the online family website. According to the OnlineFamily.Norton Web site, “In order to be included in the list of kids’ top search terms, a search term had to have been submitted at least 50 times by registered users of OnlineFamily.Norton.” The top 100 searches includes many popular social networking sites and search engines, in addition to movies, books, and entertainers that are popular in the preteen/teen universe, such as Hannah Montana, Twilight, and Lady Gaga. The top 10 search list for OnlineFamily.Norton is as follows: 1. YouTube 2. Google 3. Facebook 4. Sex 5. MySpace 6. Porn 7. Yahoo 8. Michael Jackson 9. Fred (A popular fictional character whose YouTube channel has become a hit among kids.) 10. eBay By the way, I checked out “Fred” on YouTube and realized that I had seen the character before on an episode of the Nickelodeon series iCarly (and I don’t know if that made me feel any better). In a related story, the Orlando Sentinel published a front page article yesterday about kids’ online habits and the disconnection between what they’re up to and what their parents think their up to.

According to Common Sense Media survey on teens and social media habits:

• 22% of teens check social networking sites more than 10 times a day, while only 4% of parents believe kids are checking that much • 51% of teens check social networking sites more than once a day, while only 23% of parents say their kids check more than once a day • 28% have shared personal information that they normally wouldn't have shared in public • 25% have shared a profile with a false identity • 39% have posted something they regretted

Both lists point to the rising importance of social networking sites amongst young people, but Generation X parents have been increasing their presence on Facebook, which might make kids think twice about the key words they search and the photos and personal information they post on the Internet.

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