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Friday, May 12, 2006

New Study Reveals 14% of Teens Have Had Face-to-Face Meetings with People They've Met on the Internet
New research by Cox Communications in partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children(R) (NCMEC) reveals teens are engaging in risky behavior online but that parents and guardians can have an impact on that behavior. One-third of teens surveyed say they are considering meeting face-to-face with someone they've met from the Internet and 14% say they've already had such an encounter. While many teens are sharing personal information online and putting themselves in potentially harmful situations, the survey results show that when parents and guardians talk to their teens about Internet safety, their exposure to potential threats decline and they make safer online decisions.
Very interesting survey - here are some key results:
-- Teens have established a significant presence on social networking web sites:
-- 61% of 13- to 17-year-olds have a personal profile on sites such as MySpace, Friendster, or Xanga. Half have posted pictures of themselves online.
-- Older teens (16- to 17-year-olds) and girls represent the majority of youths who use the Internet for social interaction, meeting friends, and networking.
Now for the scary stuff:
-- 14% have actually met face-to-face with a person they had known only through the Internet (9% of 13- to 15-year-olds and 22% of 16- to 17-year-olds).
-- 30% have considered meeting someone they've only communicated with online.
-- 71% reported receiving messages online from someone they don't know.
-- 45% have been asked for personal information by someone they don't know.
Best Advice -Find out what your kids are doing before it's too late because they certainly don't understand the potential risk they are putting themselves in.

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