MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – December 17, 2009 – What were kids most interested in and curious about in 2009? Their online searches can tell parents a lot and also alert them to possible topics they may need to discuss with their kids. Norton from Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC) has identified the top searches conducted by kids this year through data from OnlineFamily.Norton, the free family safety service that helps protect kids online and fosters dialogue between parents and children about their online activities. In order to help ensure every family has access to the service, Norton will now continue to offer OnlineFamily.Norton at no charge. The company plans to launch a premium subscription version later in 2010, but a basic version will remain free.
Do You Know What Your Kids Are Looking For Online?
Norton looked at the top 100 searches conducted by kids age 18 and under and also broke down results by age and gender. While terms parents would expect their kids to look up, like the blockbuster hit “New Moon” for teens and tweens, and Sesame Street for kids seven and under, made the list, some of the top terms may surprise parents. “Sex” and “porn” made it to the top overall search terms for kids age 18 and under (#4 and #5 respectively). These terms should raise a red flag to parents if they haven’t had “The Talk” with their children about content that may not be appropriate for kids. Kids’ top three overall search terms in 2009 were YouTube, Google, and Facebook. While these sites can be entertaining and educational for kids, parents need to ensure they sit down with their child and talk about what’s appropriate and inappropriate when viewing videos online, searching for information on various topics, and interacting on a social networking site.
Team Jacob Beats Out Team Edward
The recent blockbuster hit "New Moon", based on the "Twilight" series of books, not surprisingly made kids’ top 100 list of search terms. However, Team Jacob took the lead with the actor Taylor Lautner coming in at #80 and actor Robert Pattinson not even appearing in the top 100.
Girls vs. Boys
While YouTube, Google, and Facebook showed up in the top three of both boys’ and girls’ search terms, boys’ #4 search term was “sex” while girls’ #4 was Taylor Swift. However, girls were still interested in the term “sex,” coming in at #5 on their list. Boys’ top 25 search terms were mainly comprised of social networking sites, shopping sites, adult terms, and games. Girls also showed interest in social networking sites, but their top 25 search terms focused more on music, TV, movie, and celebrity-related terms.
What Do Michael Jackson and Taylor Swift Have in Common?
Michael Jackson was the most popular celebrity kids searched for in 2009, coming in at #12 overall. Taylor Swift came in a close second at #13. When broken down by age, teens (13-18) favored Michael Jackson, while tweens (8-12) and kids seven and under chose Taylor Swift. Other top celebs on kids’ list of searches included Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Lil Wayne, Megan Fox, Eminem, Beyonce, Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, the Black Eyed Peas, the Jonas Brothers, Rihanna, and Chris Brown. While celebrity searches may seem safe, Norton has observed that cybercriminals take advantage of news and events tied into celebrities, using the topic to lure people into visiting infected websites and opening spam or phishing emails. In 2009, Michael Jackson was one of the most popular targets for cybercriminals.
I Like That "Boom Boom Pow"
While kids seven and under spent most of their time searching for gaming related topics, music topped the list for teens and tweens. Thirty-four percent of teens and 27 percent of tweens searched for music-related terms. Miley Cyrus’ song “Party in the USA” came in as the most searched for song by kids in 2009 with the Black Eyed Peas’ hit “Boom Boom Pow” coming in second.
“When it comes to online threats, parents need to be concerned about more than just their child running into inappropriate content,” said Marian Merritt, Norton Internet Safety Advocate. “What makes OnlineFamily.Norton unique is that it gives parents insight into kids’ online activities and what interests them most so that parents can ensure they have a discussion with them about topics they’re curious about, as well as protect them from cyberthreats.”
Between Feb. 2, 2009 and Dec. 4, 2009, Norton tracked a total of 14.6 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. Aggregate search terms are collected on an anonymous basis through OnlineFamily.Norton. Search terms cannot be associated by Norton 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. Personal data is not shared or sold to third-parties or advertisers.
OnlineFamily.Norton is available at http://onlinefamily.norton.com. While the service is fully optimized for U.S. and Canadian sites, filtering support is also provided for English Web sites in the UK, Ireland, Austria, New Zealand, India and South Africa.
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 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 and PC tuneup, and is a trusted source for family online safety. Friend us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/norton and follow @NortonOnline on Twitter.
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