Zone Alarm recently posted an important infographic: The Secret Life of the Online Teenager. While more than 4 in 5 teens use social media and more than 95% of all teens are confident in their ability to stay safe online, the details of their online behavior offer parents, educators and other caring adults reasons to monitor the online actions of teens. More specifically,
- 69% openly reveal their physical locations
- 32% of teen girls and 24% of teen boys chat with strangers
- 28% download programs without parental knowledge
- 27% accidentally infect a home computer with a virus or malware
- 14% share passwords with friends
While teens readily admit the shortcomings of their online behaviors, the vast majority (91%) also believe that their parents trust them to act appropriately online. The significant gap between the trust extended and the behaviors displayed suggest that teens need guidance and accountability in their online endeavors.
- What does your local congregation do to help educate and empower parents to better understand the realities of being teen online today? How does your youth ministry address the online world in all that it is and does? Does your youth ministry provide a healthy and helpful example of modeling appropriate online behavior?
- For parents: What guidelines have you used/ are you using with your teens? What experiences and education have provided you the greatest insight into this aspect of your teen’s life?