Study: Risky online behavior common

Jun 15, 2011

(AP) -- Big companies such as Citigroup and Sony have been the targets of major hacking attacks. Yet a new survey finds that regular people are also prime and often unsuspecting targets.

Parents and their teenage children regularly engage in risky online behavior, according to the survey of U.S. commissioned by security company GFI Software.

More than half of the parents whose home computers have been infected with a virus said this has happened more than once. And while 89 percent of parents said they have antivirus software on their computers, a quarter of them said they don't know if they update it. Without updates, antivirus software is useless against the latest malicious attacks.

Of the teens who responded, 24 percent said they have visited a website meant for adults. More than half who do so said they lied about their age to get into the sites. Such sites are often designed to spread , which can infect the computers of people who visit.

"Given the potential ramifications of improper today, it would seem to merit at least the same degree of educational as other lifestyle risk categories like sex, drugs and alcohol," the report said.

The survey of 1,070 adults and their teenage children was conducted March 22 to April 5, 2011 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Among the survey's other findings:

- 11 percent of teens said they have been bullied online or by text messages. More girls reported being bullied than boys.

- 79 percent of teens said they own a mobile phone. Of this group, 29 percent said they own a smartphone.

- 76 percent of parents and 77 percent of teenagers said they are very confident or somewhat confident that their computers won't be infected by a virus.

- 65 percent of parents said their home computers have been infected.

- More than half of the households said both the parent and the teen had a Facebook account. Of these, 87 percent were "friends" with each other on the site.

- 83 percent of teenagers with Facebook accounts indicated that they understand how to use privacy settings, so they may hide content from their parents.

Explore further: Startups offer banking for smartphone users

More information: Online: http://www.gfi.com/parent-teen-internet-safety-report

1 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Texting on the rise among US adults: Pew survey

Sep 03, 2010

More American adults are texting but they are not tapping out nearly as many messages per day on their cellphones as teenagers, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center.

Recommended for you

Startups offer banking for smartphone users

Aug 30, 2014

The latest banks are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Startups, such as Moven and Simple, offer banking that's designed specifically for smartphones, enabling users to track their spending on the go. Some things ...

'SwaziLeaks' looks to shake up jet-setting monarchy

Aug 29, 2014

As WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange prepares to end a two-year forced stay at Ecuador's London embassy, he may take comfort in knowing he inspired resistance to secrecy in places as far away as Swaziland.

Ecuador heralds digital currency plans (Update)

Aug 29, 2014

Ecuador is planning to create what it calls the world's first digital currency issued by a central bank, which some analysts believe could be a first step toward abandoning the country's existing currency, ...

WEF unveils 'crowdsourcing' push on how to run the Web

Aug 28, 2014

The World Economic Forum unveiled a project on Thursday aimed at connecting governments, businesses, academia, technicians and civil society worldwide to brainstorm the best ways to govern the Internet.

User comments : 0