Habbo Hotel and Norton Online Bullying Study
A global survey of over 61,000 young people from 33 countries by Habbo Hotel and Norton internet security reveals that today's generation of young people feel that they are savvy when it comes to their own online safety. Despite this, online bullying and spam risks are still very real issues, which are affecting a large proportion of young people. The survey was done as a part of a global safety campaign in Habbo Hotel. Online Bullying
Almost a quarter of teenage respondents around the world (24%) witness the online bullying of someone they know in real life at least once a month, with 1 in 10 seeing it happen on a daily basis. This exposure to bullying is seen most among those aged 17 or over, with 28% of respondents witnessing bullying at least once a month compared to 21% of those aged 12 or under. In Brazil, Morocco and the Philippines the levels are much higher with 38%, 39% and 45% of respondents respectively witnessing bullying at least on a monthly basis.
The use of photos or videos as a tool to bully young people was highlighted, with 55% of those questioned having seen nasty comments or alterations made to images or videos purposely to embarrass people. The older the teenagers, the more likely they are to have experienced this with 64% of those aged 17 or over having seen this at least once, compared to half of those aged 13.
Over half of the survey's teenagers (52%) have found out that a friend is talking about them behind their back online, with a further 20% feeling that they might expect to find this out at some point. In the UK, less than a quarter of teens (21%) felt confident that their friends hadn't spoken about them behind their back online, and probably wouldn't do so in the future.
See: www.habbo.com/groups/NortonsafetytipsAccess & Awareness
54% of the survey respondents say that they have been unsupervised online by the age of eleven, with 23% of those aged eight and under using the internet by themselves. In parts of Europe, many more young people are finding their way around the internet at an early stage with 40% of those questioned in Finland and the Netherlands having access to the internet when under the age of eight. This differs greatly from e.g. Italy where only 11% of those under eight have unsupervised access and 14% in New Zealand and Switzerland.
With young people having open access to the internet so early in life, an awareness of safety is vital. In general, online safety education is of utmost importance - 39% of those questioned felt that they themselves have the responsibility to ensure their own online safety. Parents and online safety providers are also considered to play an important role with 29% and 26%, respectively viewing them as responsible. Almost half (49%) of those questioned have online access limited by their parents to some extent, but 43% claim to have deliberately hidden online activities from their parents with 14% admitting to doing this most of the time.
Although teens might be hiding some of their online lives from their parents, they show a strong awareness of the importance of being safe and how to go about it with 97% unwilling to share their home address online and 96% unwilling to share their phone number. Young people are most happy to share their avatar name (47%), age (33%) and real names (26%) online, whilst 24% of those surveyed don't want to post any private details of themselves at all. Of those teens that have shared details, almost a third (32%) has at least once regretted posting them. Online Protection
Having grown up with the internet, young people are smart when it comes to spotting potential spam with 55% of those surveyed stating that they would never or rarely open an attachment or link sent to them by someone unfamiliar. 43% have rarely or never ended up visiting websites they hadn't heard of before and 59% have rarely or never been redirected to websites with malicious content. When asked which celebrity young people most regularly search for and read about online - and if they would click on links or attachments that offered information on them - Lady Gaga took the top spot.
Though the young respondents are confident in making their way around the internet safely and 44% claim to know it better than their parents, sometimes the risks aren't obvious. Of those surveyed, 43% claim to have unknowingly downloaded malicious software or a virus to their computer at least once. Teens in Ireland, Spain and Portugal feel best protected against these risks with more than half of respondents claiming to never expect to download malicious software or viruses.
Jeff Brookes, Managing Director, Sulake Australia Pty Ltd, commented: "The internet is a place where young people can express themselves, have fun and explore, but it is important to be aware of the risks attached. Young people know and understand the internet better than many adults, and it is great to see that they have a strong awareness of their own safety. We continuously work with our community to educate and advise them on how to act safely, something which will remain vital in their lives as they grow up."
Farhana Rafi, Norton Internet Safety Advocate said: "As young people are getting access to the internet earlier and earlier these days and more often unsupervised, it is vital that they know how to online securely to get the most from their experiences. They are aware of the importance of safety but not all of the potential risks, so when in doubt they should still consult an adult to ensure that they don't become victims of cybercrime."
Download the Habbo Hotel Global Online Safety Survey here: www.sulake.com/press/releases/Habbo_Hotel_Safety_Survey_October2010.pdfHabbo Hotel
is the world's largest virtual community and social game for teens. Users join by creating a fully customised online character called a Habbo. From there, they can explore a wide variety of spaces and millions of rooms created by other users in the virtual community, play a variety of games, connect with friends, decorate their own rooms, and have fun through creativity and self-expression. Currently Habbo Hotel has users from over 150 countries and the service is available in 11 language versions. To date, more than 191 million characters have been created and 15 million unique browsers worldwide visit Habbo Hotel each month, spending a total of 45 million hours in the service. www.habbo.comSymantec's Norton
products protect consumers from cybercrime with technologies like antivirus, anti-spyware and phishing protection -- while also being light on system resources. The company also provides services such as online backup, PC tuneup, and family online safety.