Friday, October 7th, 2011

SYDNEY & AUCKLAND – October 7, 2011 The Internet can be a dangerous place for the young, exposing them to e-threats such as malware, phishing schemes, pornography or material promoting the use of drugs and violence, among others.

Perhaps the most pervasive threat, though, is cyber bullying - threats, harassment, humiliation and other torment from another child or teen using digital technology such as text messaging, email or instant messaging.

A new Bitdefender study of parents shows that 89 percent say their children have been the target of cyber bullying and more than half have been ‘very affected.’

The study focuses on assessing the frequency and context of cyber bullying. A sample of 1,740 parents was used from five countries including Australia. The parents were interviewed about their children’s internet habits, especially those that reflect contact with virtual friends.

The danger of socialising with inappropriate persons shows its ugly face regularly: 89% of the parents recognised that their children had been threatened, harassed or humiliated on the internet. Moreover, 54% admitted that their kids had been very affected by these incidents. As a consequence of this cyber bullying, the children became sad, angry, violent, or apathetic. 19 % of parents sought specialised help for their children.

Three major age-classes of children/adolescents were obtained: 7-10 years (13%), 11-15 years (47%) and 15-18 years (40%). The survey found that 7-10 year children spend an average of less than one hour on internet daily, while 15- to 18-year-olds spend more than one hour and less than three hours per day online. The most time spent online is by the 11-15 year-olds with 3 to 5 hours per day.

The parents were also asked about their children’s friends. Do they know them? Who are they?
87% of parents said they met 65 percent of their children’s virtual friends. The other 35% are just ‘virtual’ meaning the respondents didn’t interact directly with them. Most of their children’s friends were listed as schoolmates and relatives, while some are individuals they know only in the virtual environment.

Regarding activity on the internet, 16-18 year adolescents do various research projects for homework (43%) and hang out on social networks (31%) while most 11-15 year-olds chat use instant messaging platforms (87%).

No private information or other content arising or deriving from this inquiry has been collected. No data or confidential information pertaining to individuals or companies was or will be disclosed, used for any other purposes or against the persons who revealed it.
All product and company names mentioned herein are for identification purposes only and are the property of, and may be trademarks of, their respective owners.

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Bitdefender is the creator of one of the world's fastest and most effective lines of internationally certified internet security software. Since 2001, the company has been an industry pioneer, introducing and developing award-winning protection. Today, Bitdefender technology secures the digital experience of 400 million home and corporate users across the globe.

Recently, the company has won a range of key independent recommendations in the US, UK and across Europe, including ConsumerSearch, Which?, Stiftung Warentest and Taenk. Bitdefender antivirus technology has also finished top in leading industry tests from both AV Test and AV-Comparatives. More information about Bitdefender and its products is available from the company's security solutions press room. Additionally, Bitdefender publishes Malware City providing the latest updates on security threats and helping users stay informed in the everyday battle against malware.
Anna Barnes
P: 02 8281 3802


Bitdefender, security, children, cyber bullying



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