Survey: What Does Adult Cyberbullying Look Like?

We wrote earlier this week about how younger people and those who spend more time on social media are more likely to be harassed online. That doesn’t mean that you should spend less time online – just that you need to be prepared for if and when the bad guys come knocking.

teen-cyberbullyingIt’s pretty straightforward stuff for adults, but doesn’t necessarily come as second nature to kids. That’s where parents come in.

The survey that we referenced was a little off the beaten path for us since the survey respondents were adults only – 18 years old and up. Normally we focus on child and teen issues. We thought we’d take a second look at the survey to highlight what types of adult harassment and cyberbullying are happening with adults these days, and what it means for families trying to safely and happily get around online.

Survey respondents reported having been subjected to the following:

  • Called offensive names – 17%
  • Received comments designed to embarrass – 14%
  • Received harmful comments about their appearance – 9%
  • Had personal details posted online – 7%
  • Victim of an online stalker – 6%
  • Repeatedly harassed over time – 6%
  • Threats of physical harassment – 4%
  • Sexual harassment – 4%

When asked about the above offenses, female social media users were much more likely than men to experience unwanted comments about their appearance, stalking and sexual harassment.

Does what happens online stay online? Not necessarily, even for adults. Of social media users who had been harassed, 28% of females say that it had an impact on their real world lives versus 19% of men.

It is probably obvious to parents that female kids are more likely to be harassed sexually or stalked online. As our young, inexperienced daughters venture online for the first time, it might not be as obvious to them.

Before you hand your child their first connected device you should be warning them about what may happen online, regardless of whether they’re a boy or a girl. With our daughters, it makes sense to be very clear about what the bad guys might be up to, and don’t think that tweens are too young to need this kind of guidance. The trolls get started early.

 

 

 

If your teen or tween is active online and you are having trouble keeping up, we can help. We respect your kids’ privacy and give you the tools you need to be a better digital parent. The ThirdParent initial audit is now FREE (previously a $49 value). Ongoing monitoring is $15 per month and you can cancel at any time. Click here to sign up today!

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

What Are Your Social Media Profiles Telling Recruiters?

There is a brand new survey out of human resources technology firm Jobvite, and it focuses on how recruiters are doing their job right now.

If you’re in college and getting ready to graduate, or a student looking for part time work, it’s important to focus on what recruiters are focused on. The survey has a lot of valuable data for young job seekers.

First some good news – the job market is better this year than it was last year. Good candidates are in demand, salaries are up and candidates have more flexibility to negotiate a higher salary.

Beyond your degree and your work and life experience, there is one area that you can focus on now to increase your chances of being hired into a job you want – that is your social media profiles and activity.

social recruitingSocial Recruiting

One important area of increased focus this year for hiring managers is social recruiting. If recruiters are spending more time, money and effort on using social media to find candidates, you can bet they’re spending more time finding and evaluating candidate social media profiles.

What specifically are they focused on? When it comes to your social media images and activity, the following can be red flags:

Typos – We hope there are no typos on your resume, but the survey shows that 72% of recruiters view typos – even on social media – as a negative.

Marijuana – It still illegal in most of the country, and some folks have a moral objection. 71% of recruiters don’t want to see it. If you’re in the job market, leave the party pictures off your profiles.

Oversharing – You might be surprised to see this, but if you’re constantly posting online, a recruiter may wonder whether you’re going to be on your phone all day when at work. If you’re sharing too much personal information, that might call into question your judgment or discretion. If you’re posting too much information about a prior job or employer, especially if it’s negative, that’s definitely a no-no.

Alcohol – Although most people drink at least occasionally, 47% of recruiters take a dim view of it being posted on your public social media. Act accordingly.

Selfies – Posting the odd selfie is no big deal, but be careful not to post too many of them. 18% of recruiters still view selfies as a negative.

Your public social media profiles and activity are becoming an extension of your resume. We’re not all the way there yet, but we’re quickly moving in that direction. Whatever you post on social media, you run the risk that a recruiter will think that’s the real you.

 

 

If you are worried that your teen or tween is at risk, we can help. The ThirdParent initial audit is now FREE (previously a $49 value). Ongoing monitoring is $15 per month and you can cancel at any time. Click here to sign up today

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

 

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

Infographic: Keeping Up With Generation App

The National Cyber Security Alliance conducted two surveys this summer that looked at how teens use technology and their parents’ attitude toward it. The survey results reinforce some themes that occur frequently in our research:

  1. Almost 40% of teens surveyed report being the victim of cyberbullying in the last 12 months
  2. The number of parents who say they have rules for how their kids use technology is far higher than the number of teens who acknowledge or follow those rules
  3. Parents are confident that their kids will report online incidents that make them scared or uncomfortable, whereas only 32% of teens say that they will go to parents if scared
  4. 87% of parents feel very or somewhat confident that they can help teens effectively if problems arise

The survey covered teens aged 12 – 17. Regarding number 2 above, we think that what is happening is that early on when kids start using the internet, parents do set some ground rules. A few years later (or sooner), teens know how to use the internet and the rules set by parents are ancient history. Updates and frequent conversations are needed.

You can see the full infographic below. For more information go to StaySafeOnline.org.

infographic-9-26Source: National Cyber Security Alliance

 

If you are worried that your teen or tween is at risk, we can help. The ThirdParent initial audit is now FREE (previously a $49 value). Ongoing monitoring is $15 per month and you can cancel at any time. Click here to sign up today!

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

 

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

Survey: Twitter Falls Short for Abuse Victims

“Safety is our top priority”. That’s what Twitter says, but it has never really felt that way.

Twitter logoI don’t get abused on Twitter very often, and when I do it doesn’t bother me. I just move on. For many other users, the reality is very different. The problem that I see is that the harassment, when reported to Twitter, is often not acted on, or worse, Twitter deems the act to be “not harassment”, or something.

I was encouraged last month to see a very good journalist from Buzzfeed, Charlie Warzel, reaching out to the community on Twitter to get feedback on people’s experience with abuse on Twitter. The survey got over 2,700 responses, and the results should be a wakeup call to Twitter. It’s the kind of network where, if that is what you’re into, you can end up spending hours a day on it. This needs to be fixed.

According to the article, a typical (or not atypical) response from Twitter to a report of harassment is: “We’ve investigated the account and reported tweets for violent threats and abusive behavior, and have found that it’s currently not violating the Twitter rules.”

Of the 2,700 respondents, 1,530 reported having experienced some specific type of abuse on Twitter. What types of abuse were reported (in order of frequency):

  • Misogynistic language
  • Homophobic or trans phobic slurs
  • Incitement to suicide
  • Racist slurs
  • Death threats
  • Rape threats
  • Tweets disclosing personal information
  • Other

There is not a lot of gray area in a number of the categories above.

Twitter abuseAccording to the survey, Twitter’s response when abuse is reported:

  • Twitter did nothing – 75%
  • Twitter determined that the incident was not abuse – 18%
  • Twitter deleted the abusive account – 3%
  • Twitter sent a warning to the abuser – 1%
  • In less that 1% of the reported instances, a rep from Twitter reached out to the victim

Twitter is a space designed for conversation and free speech, and not necessarily a safe space. Twitter’s policy appears to favor free speech over protecting users, but we hope we’re nearing a tipping point. We’ve seen plenty of examples of over the top abuse that are reported and not acted on. The survey and article point out several more. It’s time for this to change.

 

 

If you are worried that your teen or tween is at risk, we can help. The ThirdParent initial audit is now FREE (previously a $49 value). Ongoing monitoring is $15 per month and you can cancel at any time. Click here to sign up today!

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

 

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

Age For Your Child’s First Cell Phone

A local New Jersey story this week featured a quote from a child psychologist, Dr. Steven Tobias, that we have a real problem with. The quote, which was offered when discussing the appropriate age to give a child his or her first cell phone:

“Whenever the parent wants their child to stop making eye contact with them and not talk to them anymore, that is when they should get the kid a cell phone, because that is often what happens. The kid’s face is in the phone all of the time, you go out to dinner, you are at the dinner table, and they are using the phone. I have been in practice for a while now, and I can tell you that right now, about 50 percent of the conflicts within the family ha[ve] to do with technology, cell phones, iPads, things like that.”

We have way more faith in parents – and teens and tweens – than Dr. Tobias does. Just because a parent gives a child a phone, doesn’t mean the kid can use it whenever he wants.

If you’re wondering what is actually happening these days in terms of parents giving their kids smartphones, you’re in luck. A new survey titled Influence Central’s 2016 Digital Trends Study gives a very good rundown. The survey was conducted by Influence Central and polled 500 moms in February of this year. Results were compared to a similar survey conducted by the group in 2012.

child iPhoneThe highlights:

  • The average age for kids getting their first phone is 10.3 year old (this feels about right to us)
  • The number of parents who use the phone’s GPS to track their kids’ location has more than doubled – 15% vs. 7% in 2012
  • 27% of parents use filters to control what content kids access on their phones
  • 34% of families use the parental controls built into the phones, and huge increase from 14% in 2012
  • 45% of kids use phones for entertainment in car trips
  • 38% of kids can access the internet via their phone (we’re guessing this is actually much higher)
  • 50% of kids have at least one social media account by the age of 12 (the minimum age is 13), while 11% of kids have a social media account before they turn 10-years old

One area where we agree with Dr. Tobias is his statement that the maturity level of the child is more important than his age when deciding on a first phone. As a parent, you are best qualified to decide when that is.

Giving your child her first phone doesn’t have to mean that you’re in for a constant struggle. Here’s what to do:

  • Talk about the risks – predator risk, identity theft, cyberbullying, whatever your hot button issue is – before you say yes to the phone, and regularly thereafter.
  • Put parental restrictions on the phone before it hits your child’s hands. You can restrict app downloads (entirely or by age limit), select approved ratings for music, TV shows and movies, restrict access to certain websites, turn off location settings and much more.
  • Is social media permitted? If you’ve implemented parental controls, you can say yes or no to each app download.
  • Have a set of rules for what is okay and what isn’t – when she can use her phone and for how long, what she can do, what she must not do, who she can contact, who can contact her.
  • Have a plan for what will happen if your child feels unsafe or is unsure of something.

 

If your teen or tween already has a phone, we can help. The ThirdParent initial audit is now FREE (previously a $49 value). Ongoing monitoring is $15 per month and you can cancel at any time. Click here to sign up today!

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

 

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

New Stats On Employers Doing Social Media Screening

There are lots of statistics out there about whether and to what extent employers are using social media as a screening tool for potential new hires. We’ve written about some of them before. Based on what we’ve read, and our decades of experience in the workplace, we believe that most statistics are understated.

What is more likely being captured is the number of recruiters who admit that they’re doing it. Speaking for myself, I rarely do a meeting with a new business associate without Googling him. If one of the first search results is his Facebook or LinkedIn profile, I’ll look. That goes double for someone I’m interviewing.

CareerBuilder LogoNew data out of CareerBuilder’s annual Social Media Recruiting survey make a couple of things abundantly clear:

  • The number of recruiters who use social media as a vetting tool is rising rapidly. 60% confirm that they are doing it this year vs. 52% last year and 11% 10 years ago.
  • They aren’t just looking out of curiosity. 21% admit that they are looking for something that will disqualify a candidate, and 49% of those who do check have disqualified a candidate because of something they found.

According to the survey, one tactic that candidates have been employing – deleting social media accounts or using a pseudonym – might be doing more harm that good. 41% of respondents said that they are less likely to offer a candidate an interview if they can’t find them online, up from 35% last year. Candidates are much better off having, in our opinion, a professional LinkedIn profile and at least one clean, public social media profile. Either Facebook or Twitter works fine; Instagram is more problematic because the search function is more difficult to use.

The most frequently found negatives, in order:

  1. Inappropriate pictures, video or text posts
  2. Evidence of alcohol or drug use
  3. Hate speech related to race, religion or gender
  4. Negative comments about prior employer or coworkers
  5. Poor communication skills

The news isn’t all bad for job seekers. The most frequent positives, in order:

  1. Online information supported candidate’s job qualifications
  2. Online conduct was professional
  3. Personality appeared to be a good fit with company culture
  4. Candidate appeared to be well rounded
  5. Positive communication skills

A final note to successful hires: once you land the job, your public social media life can still be scrutinized. 41% of companies responding to the survey say they use social media to keep track of current employees, and 26% of them had fired or reprimanded employees for inappropriate online activity.

 

 

The ThirdParent initial audit is now FREE (previously a $49 value). Ongoing monitoring is $15 per month and you can cancel at any time. Click here to sign up today!

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

Snapchat and Instagram Dominate Social User Growth

The Harvard University Institute of Politics released a study recently titled Survey of Young Americans’ Attitudes Toward Politics and Public Service. The study polled 2,011 18 – 29 year olds in the fourth quarter of last year asking questions about a number of topics. The one that caught out eye was the section on social media use.

Not surprisingly, Facebook is the most used social media platform, being used by 81% of respondents, a 1% increase over the past two years.

The fastest growing social media platforms were Snapchat, which grew 8% over the past two years, and Instagram, which grew by 7%.

Harvard social media

Despite their rapid growth Instagram and Snapchat are nowhere near Facebook level of ubiquity. Instagram is used by only 46% of respondents, and Snapchat by only 36%.

Will either ever get to 80%+ penetration? It is possible, despite the fact that there are many options out there. Taking Stock with Teens, a survey by Piper Jaffray released this month polled over 6,500 teens about their social media use. The Piper survey found that 75% of U.S. teens use Snapchat and 74% use Instagram, while only 59% use Facebook. Snapchat and Instagram, in that order, were most highly ranked when asked what is your “most important social network?”

Piper social media survey
The times are changing.

 

 

DID YOU KNOW?: The ThirdParent initial audit is now FREE (previously a $49 value). You can cancel at any time. Sign up today!

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

Piper social media survey

Gen Z and Smartphone Etiquette

The Center for Generational Kinetics has a big study out titled the 2016 National Study on Technology and the Generation After Millennials, and it’s very good. The study creators assume that Generation Z, kids born in 1996 or later, will be the generation that is going to define standards of what is normal and acceptable when it comes to the use of personal technology. If you’re the parent of a Gen Z kid, you should check out the link to the full report above. In this post, we are going to focus on Gen Z attitudes toward smartphone use, and what it means for being a parent of kids in this group.

The architect of the study, Chief Strategy Officer Jason Dorsey, puts the following quote front and center:

jason-dorsey-smartphones

No matter your opinion about whether that quote is true, it is a fact that the government has strict control over driving age and stipulations and restrictions on licenses and driving rules. As a parent, you can’t choose to legally allow your child to drive at 11. You can, however, buy him a smartphone with unrestricted internet access. We join the study authors in thinking that is a big deal. There is no internet license that one can obtain. Your mileage will vary.

Full data is not presented in the study, but from excerpts in the release it is clear that Gen Z believes that it is appropriate for younger kids to have a cell phone than do older generations. For example, 18% of Gen Z respondents think it’s okay for a 13-year old to have a smartphone vs. 4% for older generations.

In our experience, most 13-year olds have a smartphone so I’m not sure Gen Z is ahead of the curve here, or at least ahead of Gen Z parents. Where they look to be off base is captured in what they say about situations in which smartphone use is acceptable. Strangely, Gen Z is less approving than older generations of using a phone at work or at a movie, but at least some respondents in Gen Z (and a higher percentage of respondents than of any other generation), think it’s okay to use a smartphone:

  • During a job interview
  • At your own wedding
  • At the dinner table

Here’s our take, and why we think these results are important for parents of Gen Z kids: It is important for kids to understand that while they might think something is appropriate, and their peers might agree, going down that path could lead to a disastrous result.

I’m a parent of three Gen Z kids, and we absolutely don’t think it’s okay for kids or adults to use a smartphone at the dinner table. If I interviewed a candidate who thought it appropriate to pull out a smartphone during an interview, that candidate would not get the job.

As any technology becomes ubiquitous, power users and early adopters (Gen Z kids tend to be both) see use of that tech as normal, and may assume that it is acceptable in any manner of situations. It’s up to parents to communicate what the rest of society may think.

 

 

NEW: For a limited time the ThirdParent audit is FREE (normally $49). You can cancel at any time. Sign up today!

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

Survey: How Teens and Young People Really Use Apps

App developer Testmunk did a survey last April to try to figure out how young people really use the apps on their phones. While the results are nine months old, we find that they are instructive for parents. The survey took the pulse of about 400 people aged 13 – 24 from across the country. 65% of respondents were aged 13 – 17, and the remaining 35% were aged 18 – 24. Some of the highlights and our thoughts:

most-popular-teen-apps
Source: Testmunk

Which social media app do you most frequently use?

  • Facebook – 27%
  • Instagram – 17%
  • YouTube – 14%
  • Tumblr – 12%
  • Snapchat – 12%
  • Twitter – 12%
  • Reddit – 2%
  • Pinterest – 2%

We’re surprised by a couple of these results: First, that Facebook is #1 on the list – more on Facebook below. Second, it’s curious to us that Tumblr rates so highly. Perhaps teen bloggers are making a comeback. For those with a lot to say, Twitter has certainly lost momentum.

When the survey takers compared Facebook time of use to the other apps combined, the other apps lead by approximately 3:1. Not surprisingly, Facebook doesn’t garner all the attention. The quotes from survey respondents paint a picture of Facebook as something you have to have (keeping up with family, creeping on romantic interests) but not really a social hub for teens, with the exception of FB Messenger.

“[Facebook] is becoming… a vestigial app… Everyone has it and is used to it, so we keep it, although Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Vine, have all essentially overcome it.” –Respondent, Male, 17

When asked how often respondents open their favorite app, almost 40% said nine times per day or more. Since Snapchat and Instagram for example are used for messaging, that number doesn’t surprise us. In the case of Snapchat, 52% of teens who favor it open it 9 times or more per day.

How many hours per day do you spend on your favorite app? Listed by app:

  • Facebook – 2.6
  • Instagram – 2.2
  • YouTube – 3.8
  • Tumblr – 4.0
  • Snapchat – 2.7
  • Twitter – 2.6

What do the survey results mean for parents? Well possibly a lot. One thing they do tell us speaks to something we hear for parents all the time:

“I’m friends with my teen on Facebook so I’m pretty sure that I know what she’s up to online. It’s all harmless.”

While most teens and young adults have a Facebook account, it is far from the only show in town. And since teens know that most parents and lots of grandparents are on Facebook, that’s the app where the least bad or unsafe behavior is taking place.

You can use the framework of the survey to have a meaningful conversation with your teen about what he is doing online. Ask questions like, “What is your favorite app” “How many times per day do you open it?” “How many hours per day are you on it?” The answers, if honest, should give you some good insight into what is going on inside your teen’s phone – and social life.

 

 

NEW: For a limited time the ThirdParent audit is FREE (normally $49). You can cancel at any time. Sign up today!

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

Pew Internet Research: The State of Digital Parenting Part II

In Part I of this series, we talked about Pew Internet’s latest research on the state of digital parenting. In that post we focused on the gap between what parents are doing about monitoring teen internet activity and what may actually be happening. In short, we think in some families, a lot may be slipping between the cracks.

Let’s focus now on what parents of 13 – 17 year old internet and social media users admit that they parent-teen-laptoparen’t doing. The percentage of parents who rarely or never talk about:

  • What is appropriate to be shared online – 19%
  • Age-appropriate internet content – 20%
  • Age-appropriate traditional media (books, magazines, TV and movies) – 20%
  • Online behavior towards others – 22%

By contrast, only 11% of parents rarely or never discuss how to behave at school or at home. Consider a couple of factors:

  • What your teen says or does can have a much wider reach online than in the real world. The average teen Facebook or Instagram user has hundreds of online friends, who in turn have hundreds of connections. Cyberbullying and other inappropriate content can spread like wildfire.
  • Online communications and posts can be anonymous. Yik Yak, Ask.fm, Whisper, Reddit, 4chan…there are numerous social platforms with million of users where your real name is either not used or is strictly optional.

On the age-appropriate content front, we’d argue that since all kinds of inappropriate content is widely available online, for free, it’s more important to warn about setting limits online than offline. For the most part, you know your teen’s physical location. It is almost impossible to know where he is online, at all times.

In summary, if your teen is online a lot (she is), you should be talking about appropriate online behavior and content a lot.

 

 

 

 

NEW: For a limited time the ThirdParent audit is FREE (normally $49). You can cancel at any time. Sign up today!

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.