CUPERTINO, CA – August 10, 2009 – During summer vacation, kids have more time to spend online chatting with friends, playing online games, and just surfing the Web. But this added time on the Internet can lead to trouble if parents don’t have “The Talk” with their kids about appropriate and inappropriate online behavior. Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC) has identified the top searches conducted by kids online this summer through its family safety service, OnlineFamily.Norton,* and some of the results may surprise parents and leave them asking “Who is Fred?” Symantec also uncovered 90 million “teachable moments” through OnlineFamily.Norton, which are opportunities for parents to start a dialogue with their kids about their online activity. These teachable moments occur when parents are informed by OnlineFamily.Norton that a house Internet rule is being broken, like kids visiting a restricted website, entering a false age on a social networking site, or going over their time limit on the computer.
According to OnlineFamily.Norton, kids’ top 100 search terms include sites like YouTube, eBay and Craigslist, as well as social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. The words “sex” and “porn” also made it to the top, ranking number four and six respectively. Number nine on the list was “fred,” for Fred Figglehorn, a popular fictional character whose YouTube channel has become a hit among kids. Other popular search terms include Michael Jackson, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, and the Black Eyed Peas’ song “Boom Boom Pow.” To see the top 100 on the list and get insight into what kids are looking for online, visit http://onlinefamilyinfo.norton.com/articles/schools_out.php.
Since its launch in April 2009, OnlineFamily.Norton has provided parents using the service with more than 90 million “teachable moments” with their kids. By blocking attempts to visit “bad” Web sites or chat with IM buddies and alerting parents to these activities in real-time, OnlineFamily.Norton has given parents millions of opportunities to have “The Talk” about the bits and the bytes, as well as appropriate online behavior, with their children. This is an important first step in fostering an open, ongoing dialogue about their children’s online lives. While trying to access “bad” Web sites topped the list, kids were also prevented from sending out personal information via the Web and social networking sites.
“We’ve found through the Norton Online Living Family Survey that both parents and kids want to speak with each other more frequently about their day-to-day lives, not just the “big issues,” said Marian Merritt, Symantec’s Internet Safety Advocate. “This can seem like a daunting task, but with a tool like OnlineFamily.Norton, which is built on a philosophy of dialogue, parents can stay in the loop on what their kids are doing online. It also helps identify “teachable moments” when parents should be talking with their kids about appropriate online behavior and other issues in their kids’ online lives.”
Between February 2008 and July 2009, Symantec tracked a total of 3.5 million searches that were submitted by users of their OnlineFamily.Norton service. The list of search terms was ranked from those submitted most frequently to those submitted the least. In order to be included in the list of kids’ top search terms, a search term had to have been submitted at least 50 times by registered users of OnlineFamily.Norton.
OnlineFamily.Norton is available at http://onlinefamily.norton.com in English with comprehensive filtering for U.S. and Canadian sites. Filtering support is also provided for English Web sites in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, India, and South Africa, but the service is not fully optimized for these countries.
As a Web-based service, OnlineFamily.Norton is able to track the Internet activities of each child in real-time. Parents enjoy peace of mind with instant reporting and the convenience of accessing their account anytime from any Internet-connected device.
About Norton from Symantec
Symantec’s Norton products protect consumers from traditional threats with antivirus, anti-spyware and phishing protection, as well as bots, drive-by downloads and identity theft-- while also being light on system resources. The company also provides services such as online backup and PC tuneup, and is a trusted source for family online safety.
Symantec is a global leader in providing security, storage and systems management solutions to help consumers and organizations secure and manage their information-driven world. Our software and services protect against more risks at more points, more completely and efficiently, enabling confidence wherever information is used or stored. More information is available at www.symantec.com.
This forward-looking indication of plans for products is preliminary and all future release dates are tentative and are subject to change. Any future release of the product or planned modifications to product capability, functionality or feature are subject to ongoing evaluation by Symantec, and may or may not be implemented and should not be considered firm commitments by Symantec and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions.
*Aggregate search terms collected on an anonymous basis through OnlineFamily.Norton. Search terms cannot be associated by Symantec with a specific child, adult, or user account. All personal account information is kept completely separate from the monitoring and reporting functionalities of OnlineFamily.Norton.