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Nearly Half Of Parents Keep Tabs On Teens Via Facebook

Nearly Half Of Parents Keep Tabs On Teens Via Facebook, Latest AVG Technologies’ Research Reveals

Is this a new kind of parental relationship, or is it spying?

AUCKLAND and AMSTERDAM - 18 April 2012 – Half of mothers in New Zealand are keeping tabs on their teen by accessing their Facebook account without their consent, a global study has revealed.

Digital Coming of Age, the fifth instalment of AVG’s Digital Diaries study, features responses to AVG’s questions to 4,400 parents with 14-17 year olds in 11 countries, including New Zealand.

It also found that more than a third of parents were concerned that their teen’s interaction with social media sites could affect their future job prospects (37%), particularly since a quarter of the parents surveyed have seen explicit or abusive messages on their teen’s social networking profile (26%).

Michael McKinnon, Security Advisor at AVG (AU/NZ) Pty Ltd, said, “AVG’s latest research encourages us to consider whether Facebook and other social networking sites are creating a new kind of parental relationship, or whether we are in effect spying on our teens? These sites are providing parents with new methods to monitor what their kids are doing without necessarily having to be ‘heavy handed’ or to quiz their child directly.”

Interestingly, Digital Coming of Age also unearths that nearly a quarter of the New Zealand parents surveyed thought their child’s school was failing to educate their child about using the internet responsibly; mirroring the feelings of parents around the globe.

Other key findings from the Digital Coming of Age include:

UK parents are most likely to suspect teens of ‘sexting’ - nearly one quarter (23%) of UK parents suspect their kids of sexting. Less than a fifth of New Zealand parents surveyed (17%) suspected their teens of text sex.
Spanish parents (45%) are most suspicious their teens are illegally downloading music - New Zealand parents appear more trusting, with just over a quarter (27%) suspecting their teenager of illegal downloads. UK parents suspected a similar amount (28%), however, UK teens could even face up to ten years in jail for illegal downloads, as a result of Britain signing the disputed Anti-Countering Trade Agreement (ACTA) bill.
Just under half of parents surveyed are concerned their teens mobile photos are geo-tagged.
Nearly one fifth of New Zealand parents expect their teen of accessing pornography – Of parents surveyed globally, 26 per cent suspected their teenage son of accessing pornography, while less than half that (12%) suspected their teenage daughter.
Over one quarter of New Zealand parents have seen explicit or abusive messages on their offspring’s social networks - compared with one fifth of UK and US parents.
Parents ‘friending’ teens on Facebook - over half of New Zealand parents (60%) are connected with their teens on Facebook, compared with United States (72%), Canada (66 %), Italy (66%), Spain (64%), UK (51%), Australia (57%), Germany (51%), Czech Republic (50%), France (32%) and Japan (10%).


About AVG Digital Diaries Campaign
The first stage of AVG’s Digital Diaries campaign, Digital Birth, focused on children from birth to age two. The study, released in October 2010, found that on average, infants acquire a digital identity by the age of six months old. Nearly one quarter (23%) of children have had their pre-birth scans uploaded to the Internet by their parent – establishing a digital footprint even before birth. The second stage, Digital Skills, was released in January 2011 and showed that for two to five year olds, ‘tech’ skills are increasingly replacing ‘life’ skills. In fact, many toddlers could use a mouse and play a computer game, but could not ride a bike, swim or tie their shoelaces. Digital Playground, released in June 2011, found nearly half of six to nine year olds talk to friends online and use social networks. This was followed with Digital Maturity in November 2011, which revealed how 11 year olds had developed adult skills in technology.

Research for all stages of the Digital Diaries series was conducted by Research Now on behalf of AVG Technologies.

More information visit:

About AVG (AU/NZ) Pty Ltd —
Based in Melbourne, AVG (AU/NZ) Pty Ltd, an Avalanche Technology Group company, distributes the AVG Internet Security and Mobile Security product range in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

AVG’s mission is to simplify, optimise and secure the Internet experience, providing peace of mind to a connected world. AVG’s powerful yet easy-to-use software and online services put users in control of their Internet experience. By choosing AVG’s software and services, users become part of a trusted global community that benefits from inherent network effects, mutual protection and support. AVG has grown its user base to approximately 108 million active users as of December 31, 2011 and offers a product portfolio that targets the consumer and small business markets and includes Internet security, PC performance optimisation, online backup, mobile security and identity protection.

Keep in touch with AVG (AU/NZ)
• For breaking news, follow AVG (AU/NZ) on Twitter at
• Join our Facebook community at
• For security trends, analysis, follow the AVG (AU/NZ) blog at


[Tables via AVG Blog]

Do you suspect your teen of accessing pornography / gambling / illegal music download pages?

Illegal music downloads27%19%28%27%27%25%16%30%45%22%35%19%29%26%21%32%

Do you ever access you teen’s Facebook account without them knowing?


Are you worried that what your teen is posting on social networks could affect their future job, college or dating prospects?


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