SOURCE: BitDefender


July 12, 2010 09:00 ET

BitDefender Online Survey Reveals One-in-Three Canadian Moms Don't Know Which Social Networking Sites Their Kids Use

Identifies Five Popular Social Networking Sites Parents Need to Be Aware of

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA--(Marketwire - July 12, 2010) -  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 don't know which social networking sites their kids are members of. Moreover, nearly 60 percent don't use parental control software to help monitor their children's 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 don't 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 Lab's 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 don't 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 parent's 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. It's 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 BitDefender's 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.

About BitDefender®
BitDefender is the creator of one of the industry's fastest and most effective lines of internationally certified security software. Since its inception in 2001, BitDefender has continued to raise the bar and set new standards in proactive threat prevention. Every day, BitDefender protects tens of millions of home and corporate users across the globe -- giving them the peace of mind of knowing that their digital experiences will be secure. More information about BitDefender and its products are available at the company's security solutions press room. BitDefender's provides background and the latest updates on security threats helping users stay informed in the everyday battle against malware.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Media Contact:
    Josie Lee
    Brodeur for BitDefender