Internet SafetyInternet Safety Statistics (older archives available here)

  • In 2021, Bark (a parental control tool) analyzed more than 3.4 billion messages across texts, email, and 30+ apps and social media platforms. Below are some of Bark's findings during those 12 months:

Bullying: 72.09% of tweens and 85.00% of teens experienced bullying as a bully, victim, or witness.
Depression: 32.11% of tweens and 56.40% of teens engaged in conversations about depression.
Sexual content: 68.97% of tweens and 90.73% of teens encountered nudity or content of a sexual nature.
Self-harm/suicide: 43.09% of tweens and 74.61% of teens were involved in a self-harm/suicidal situation.
Drugs/alcohol: 75.35% of tweens and 93.31% of teens engaged in conversations surrounding drugs/alcohol.
Violence: 80.82% of tweens and 94.50% of teens expressed or experienced violent subject matter/thoughts.
Predators: 9.95% of tweens and 20.54% of teens encountered predatory behaviors from someone online.
Disordered eating: 1.96% of tweens and 7.66% of teens engaged with or encountered content about disordered eating.
Anxiety: 19.69% of tweens and 42.05% of teens used language or were exposed to language about anxiety.

Trends for 2021 include:

25.15% increase in alerts for self-harm and suicidal ideation among kids ages 12 to 18, as compared to 2020.

Alerts for anxiety were most often sent for 15-year-olds.
21.2% increase in alerts for drugs/alcohol as compared with 2020.
17-year-old girls were most likely to engage in conversations about depression.
 Bark alerts for disordered eating were most often sent for 17-year-old girls.
 Bark escalated 1,171 alerts regarding potential school shootings to law enforcement.

(Bark 2021 Annual Report)

  • Sexual exploitation is the second most lucrative crime in the world, estimated to affect up to 5% of the general child and youth population worldwide, with increasing numbers detected globally during the past decade (JAMA September 22, 2020)
  • People are spending 45% more time on social media since March of 2020 globally, with a 17% increase in the U.S., according to Statista. (March 2020)
  • 40 percent of kids in grades 4-8 reported they connected or chatted online with a stranger. Of those 40 percent:
    - 53 percent revealed their phone number to a stranger
    - 21 percent spoke by phone with a stranger
    - 15 percent tried to meet with a stranger
    - 11 percent met a stranger in their own home, the stranger’s home, a park, mall or restaurant
    - 30 percent texted a stranger from their phone
    - 6 percent revealed their home address to a stranger (Children's Internet Usage Study, Center for Cyber Safety and Education, March 2019).
  • Technologies designed to prevent access to pornography or other online content perceived as harmful and;are presented as possible protective measures, and on average, a quarter of European families report using them. (July 2018: Internet Filtering and Adolescent Exposure to Online Sexual Material)
  • 72 percent of Americans believe their accounts are secure with only usernames and passwords, yet every two seconds there is another victim of identity fraud. Your usernames and passwords are not enough to keep your accounts secure. (Stop. Think. Connect .(n.d.) "Lock Down Your Login", accessed 1-16-2017 from https://www.lockdownyourlogin.com).
  • When it comes to online enticement, girls make up the majority (78%) of child victims—while the majority (82%) of online predators are male. And 98% of online predators have never met their child targets in real life. (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, “The Online Enticement of Children: An In-Depth Analysis of CyberTipline Reports
  • 50 percent of American adults are worried about the amount of personal information about them online, while 47 percent said they were not confident they understood what would be done with their data once it was collected (National Cyber Security Alliance, January 12, 2017).
  • 39% of parents report using parental controls for blocking, filtering or monitoring their teen’s online activities (Pew Research Center, January 2016).
  • Internet safety was the 4th most commonly identified “big problem”, up from #8 in 2014. Sexting received the biggest change in rating this year, from #13 in 2014 to #6 in 2015 (http://mottnpch.org/reports-surveys/top-10-child-health-problems-more-concern-sexting-internet-safety)
  • Just 28% of parents have installed software on computers to prohibit certain website visitation; only 17% have such software on mobile devices, and just 15% on gaming consoles (Cox Communications 2012).
  • One in two parents do not use any blocking or filtering software on their children's Internet enabled devices. (FamilyPC Survey, August, 2001)
  • Nine in 10 teens say their parents have talked to them about online safety.
    • However, nearly half (49%) of teens claim their parents do nothing to monitor their devices. Cox. (2014) "Cox 2014 Internet Safety Survey." The Futures Company. ?
  • Nearly half of teens admit to taking action to hide their online behavior from parents. Cox. (2014) "Cox 2014 Internet Safety Survey." The Futures Company.
  • 46% of teens have cleared their search history and/or cookies on their browser. Cox. (2014) "Cox 2014 Internet Safety Survey." The Futures Company.
  • 1 in 5 teens have used a private browsing feature so their parents can't see the sites they've visited. Cox. (2014) "Cox 2014 Internet Safety Survey." The Futures Company.
  • 14% of teens report friends have invited someone over that they had only met online. Cox. (2014) "Cox 2014 Internet Safety Survey." The Futures Company.
  • On average, teens spend 5 hours and 38 minutes online every day. Cox. (2014) "Cox 2014 Internet Safety Survey." The Futures Company.
  • 18% of teens have considered meeting with someone in person whom they first met online.
    • Of these, 58% have actually met up with someone in person. Cox. (2014) "Cox 2014 Internet Safety Survey." The Futures Company.