Latest News

BitDefender Online Survey Reveals One-In-Three Canadian Moms Dont Know Which Social Networking Sites Their Kids Use

July 2010

Identifies five popular social networking sites parents need to be aware of

According to a recent online survey commissioned by BitDefender, an award-winning provider of innovative internet security solutions, 94 percent of Canadian moms claim they know what their children are doing online, but nearly 30 percent dont know which social networking sites their kids are members of. Moreover, nearly 60 percent dont use parental control software to help monitor their childrens online activities.

The online survey queried more than 500 Canadian moms on what they know about their kids online activities. When asked what social networking sites their kids are members of, more than 60 percent identified Facebook while less than 10 percent noted eSpin, Friendster, Imbee, Togetherville or KidLinkz. Twenty-eight percent admitted they dont know which social networking sites their kids use.

Parents are not always aware that the explosion of social networking sites has created new dangers to our kids, increasingly exposing them to cyber bullying, inappropriate content or photos, molestation and even abduction, said Catalin Cosoi, BitDefender Labs senior researcher.

The survey also found that while Canadian moms are confident they know what their kids do online, this includes potentially harmful activities: For instance, 16 percent are aware that their kids had an argument online; 18 percent noted their kids have chatted with someone they dont know in the real world; 12 percent are aware their kids have downloaded music illegally; and 10 percent said their child has created a profile using a different name, age or personal information.

BitDefender has identified five popular social networking sites that should be on every Canadian parents radar:

  • Chatroulette
    Free site allows users to have random one-on-one webcam chats with people worldwide. Site contains adult content including nude photos, but no credit card is required and anyone can log on.

  • Formspring
    Relatively new site that perpetuates cyber bullying: teens gather to leave crude and hurtful comments about one another. This site can be traumatizing for teens and has resulted in a teen suicide.

  • MyLOL
    Claims to be a destination for "teen dating"; allows teens as young as 13 years old to register. Its a watering hole for predators and contains thousands of adult users. Teens divulge personal contact information and often post inappropriate photos.

  • HOT or NOT
    Users rate photos of its members, and meet or hook up with members they are rating who are in the same geographic region. Popular with 13 to 19 year-olds; the people in the photos may not be who they say they are.

  • Texts From Last Night
    Users post texts sent to them from the night before along with their cell phone area code. Content contains profanity, as well as information about drug usage and sex.

BitDefender recommends parents consider an internet security solution that provides comprehensive parental control settings and the ability to filter online communications for certain keywords. For tips on how to protect your family from online threats, please visit BitDefenders website, or to download a free trial version of BitDefender Total Security 2010 click here.

About The Survey
This online survey was conducted by Mom Central to its Mom Testing Panel June 14 18, 2010. With a sample size of 512 Canadian moms the results will be accurate to plus or minus 4 percentage points.