Summer-time gives youth more online-time, and often with less supervision as working parents rarely get the luxury of a 3-month vacation.
Symantec has released a report of kids’ top 100 search terms collected using data from their OnlineFamily.Norton child monitoring service. Not all search terms may thrill you, but they certainly provide insight into kids’ interest areas.
While it’s natural for kids to be curious about sexuality, search terms like Sex (ranked 4th) and Porn (ranked 6th) probably aren’t providing the education you had in mind. Some queries are more surprising – Yahoo! is no doubt thrilled to come in 7th, and who would have imagined so many kids were going to eBay? Less surprising is that YouTube is more popular than Facebook, and that the death of Michael Jackson spurred a flurry of searches.
Top 10 Searches by Kids
- Michael Jackson
- Fred (A popular fictional character whose YouTube channel is a hit among kids.)
Other popular results for the kids market include Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Club Penguin… and Boobs.
This list provides two great opportunities for parents:
- If you aren’t familiar with all the sites, songs, or topics being searched, check them out to learn what kids are interested in.
- Chat with your kid(s) to see which sites they frequent – a quick search through your browser’s history files may help you get an idea of where they go before the conversation if you don’t have family safety tools that show this for you.)
You may also want to check out some Summer Internet Safety Tips, a podcast and article sponsored by the Safe Internet Alliance (www.safeinternetalliance.org) that provides practical suggestions for parents by Kim Sanchez of Microsoft and Holly Hawkins of AOL.