Yahoo! Gives Parents a B+ for Taking Action to Protect Children Online

Internet Safety Month Survey Reveals Dads Are Taking More Action Than Moms When It Comes to Children's Online Safety

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sunnyvale, CA – To honor National Internet Safety Month in June, Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) is sharing data discovered from a recent survey exploring how parents monitor children's online behavior and how people manage their digital reputations. As a longtime industry leader in child safety, Yahoo! continues to make safety a company priority by supporting efforts to educate children, parents, adults, and communities about safe online experiences. Yahoo! conducted the online survey with Ipsos OTX in April 2010 to gain insight into consumers' behaviors and perceptions with respect to online safety. The survey is based on a sample size of 2,003 Internet users in the United States, ages 18-64 years old.

Parents are taking action, but cyber-bullying education is needed:

Yahoo! celebrates the parents who are proactively monitoring their children's online safety and are having appropriate discussions with their kids.

The Yahoo! survey shows:

  • 78% of parents are concerned about their children's online safety
  • 70% of parents talk to their children about online safety at least 2-3 times a year; 45% talk to their children at least once a month.
  • 74% of parents are connected to their children's profiles on social networking sites.
  • 71% of parents have taken at least one action to manage their children's use of the Internet or cell phones such as:
    • Check to see where children are searching online.
    • Set time limits for children's use of computers or cell phones.
    • Set parental controls on video sites.
    • Use filters to limit where children go on the Web.

It was no surprise to discover that cyberbullying continues to be a concern for parents. While parents are acutely aware of the potential issues, they are unsure of appropriate action. Data shows:

  • 81% of parents know what cyberbullying is.
  • 1 in 4 adults (25%) who are aware of cyberbullying have either been victims or know someone else affected by cyberbullying.
  • 37% of parents feel that they know what to do about cyberbullying.
  • Almost three-quarters (73%) of people want their child's school to play an active role in teaching kids about online safety and citizenship.

Dads are doing their part, and then some:

Today's fathers spend more time with their children than three decades ago and take on more household responsibilities, according to the Families and Work Institute1. The Yahoo! survey found that some of that quality time is devoted to helping children navigate the Web and other technology.

  • 71% of dads (compared to 63% of moms) say they are taking at least one action to help manage their children's online behavior including having conversations about respecting the privacy of others and checking their children's privacy settings.
  • More dads than moms have had a conversation with their children about their digital reputations and how to promote a positive online reputation.
  • Fathers more often check to see what personal information can be easily found about their children by searching for their names online.
  • 53% of dads surveyed told us they plug their children's names into a search engine at least 2-3 times per year (compared to 38% of moms) - 33% of dads told us they do this search at least once a month.
  • 53% of dads surveyed told us they plug their children's names into a search engine at least 2-3 times per year (compared to 38% of moms) - 33% of dads told us they do this search at least once a month.
  • According to the survey, more dads than moms use filters to limit where their kids go online, and more dads monitor the time children send text messages and how many text messages they send.

“Yahoo! applauds the parents who are taking an active role in keeping their kids safer online, and we want to give them valuable advice and resources so they can earn an 'A' for their efforts," said Catherine Teitelbaum, director of child safety, Yahoo! Inc. "We encourage parents to use Yahoo! Safely -- an online resource catered to kids, parents, and educators which provides relevant, up-to-date strategies and tools to help foster safer online experiences."

Yahoo! Safely (safely.yahoo.com) helps inform parents, students, and teachers about online safety through timely videos, simple strategies, and advice from nonprofit safety experts. Yahoo! Safely offers the following tips for young people to help prevent cyberbullying:

  • Own your digital reputation. The Internet is a public space, so before you share photos or personal details, make sure it's info that you'd share with teachers, colleges, or job prospects.
  • Keep your private information under your control. Keeping Internet conversations (and your user names/profiles) free of personal information like your password, full name, or even the name of your school, is important.
  • Be nice (and pass it on)! Be respectful online and treat people the way you'd want to be treated. If someone is being disrespectful or bullying you, try to ignore them and use privacy tools to block them from viewing your full profile and contacting you.
  • Know your rights. You have the right to not respond to email or other messages that are inappropriate or make you feel uncomfortable. If you get a message that doesn't feel right, show it to your parents, guardians, or another trusted adult and report the incident to your Internet service provider.
  • Have a family chat. Talking with your parents or guardians doesn't mean giving up your privacy. Everyone benefits when you're on the same page about online activities, including when you can go online, how long you can stay, and what activities you can do online.

People need to take control of their digital reputations:

Education is key to empowering people to protect their digital reputations, and according to the recent Yahoo! online safety survey, 65% of people do not know or are not sure what a digital footprint2 is and 31% do not feel they are in control of their online image3.

The survey also concluded that 48% of respondents do not realize or are not sure if the information they put on the Web will remain online forever and 7% think that it won't remain online forever if they simply delete it. Some other key findings include:

  • 20% of people plug their own name into a search engine once a month or more; 49% do it 2-3 times a year or less.
  • Adults ages 18-34 are more proactive about managing their digital profiles than adults 35-49 and adults 50+.
  • These are the top three actions young adults take to manage their digital profiles:
    • Limit personal information available on social networking sites/blogs.
    • Keep strict privacy settings on social networking sites/blogs.
    • Avoid allowing people access to social networking sites/blogs unless there is a relationship offline.

Teitelbaum commented, "Everyone should conduct an online search of their name or their child's name once a month. It's not a vanity search. It's learning what's out there and ultimately taking control of your digital reputation."

Yahoo! recommends these simple tips to manage a digital reputation:

  • Know your connections: Only connect with people you know offline.
  • Think before you post: Once something is posted online, it's virtually impossible to take back because words, pictures, and videos can be easily forwarded, copied, and taken out of context.
  • Protect your personal information: Posting personal information or photos can identify you to strangers. Never reveal personal information to people unless you are friends with them offline.
  • Configure your settings: Take the time to understand the profile settings that are available to you on websites and social networks, and tailor those settings for you.
  • Understand your digital footprint: On a monthly basis, search for your name on search engines, like Yahoo! Search, and on social networks to understand what type of content is associated with you.

To learn more about how to be safer online, go to Yahoo.com and search for "online safety."

About Yahoo!'s child safety efforts:

Yahoo! is a longtime industry leader on child safety and has made it a company priority to protect children online by creating tools for people to safeguard themselves and by supporting efforts to educate children, parents, adults, and communities about safer online experiences. Yahoo! operates a safety site, Yahoo! Safely (safely.yahoo.com), that has distinct resources and links for teens and parents, as well as informative content from safety experts including Common Sense Media, ConnectSafely, and WiredSafety. The site also hosts comprehensive guides for safer practices for using Yahoo! products including Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Messenger, Yahoo! Groups, and more. Yahoo also provides online safety information and tools and tips in the parents' section of Yahoo! Kids and the parenting section of Yahoo! Shine.

Yahoo! supports the work of several nonprofit Internet safety organizations including Common Sense Media, ConnectSafely, FOSI, Internet Keep Safe Coalition, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, and WiredSafety, as well as related efforts from other groups such as Ad Council, CARU/BBB, and NCSA. Yahoo! works collaboratively with its industry peers, child safety groups, and law enforcement to find new ways to protect children online.

About Yahoo!

Yahoo! attracts hundreds of millions of users every month through its innovative technology and engaging content and services, making it one of the most visited Internet destinations and a world-class online media company. Yahoo!'s vision is to be the center of people's online lives by delivering personally relevant, meaningful Internet experiences. Yahoo! is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. For more information, visit http://pressroom.yahoo.com or the company's blog, Yodel Anecdotal (http://yodel.yahoo.com).
Yahoo! is the trademark and/or registered trademark of Yahoo! Inc.

¹ Families and Work Institute report: http://familiesandwork.org/site/research/reports/Times_Are_Changing.pdf
² For the survey, a digital footprint is defined as the content and information that people post on the Web over time including online profiles, comments, and blogs.
³ For the survey, an online image is defined as the way people are perceived through Web services including social networking sites, email, and instant messenger.

For more information on this news release and Ipsos travel research, please contact:

Tom Harbeck
Senior Vice President
Strategy and Marketing
Ipsos OTX MediaCT
(212) 524-8231
tharbeck@otxresearch.com

From Yahoo!, contact:

Terrell Karlsten
Yahoo! Inc.
(408) 349-5528
ykrause@vocecomm.com

or

Yasemin Krause
Voce Communications
(408) 823-3945
terrellk@yahoo-inc.com

About Ipsos OTX MediaCT

Ipsos OTX MediaCT is the market research specialization within Ipsos built to reach, engage and more effectively understand today’s digitally-driven consumer in the fast moving media, content and technology space. By integrating new technologies and immersive techniques with extensive traditional research experience, Ipsos OTX MediaCT’s market leading research solutions help clients better understand media and technology consumption, evaluate content, monitor the value of brands and provide guidance for successful innovation. The Ipsos OTX MediaCT approach results in deeper and more profound consumer insights that allow companies to maximize their return on investment.

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Yahoo! Gives Parents a B+ for Taking Action to Protect Children Online

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Contact

Tom Harbeck
Senior Vice President, Strategy & Marketing
Ipsos MediaCT
+1.212.524.8231
tharbeck@otxresearch.com