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TRUSTe Social Networking Survey Results Release_Draft 7_101310_KB

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					                                                                      For immediate release 6am PT




   TRUSTe Releases Survey Results of Parents and Teenagers on Social
                        Networking Behaviors
       National Poll Conducted in Partnership with Lightspeed Research Reveals Alignment
                        Between Parents and Teens in Desire for Privacy

San Francisco, Calif. – October 18, 2010 -- TRUSTe, provider of the leading
privacy trustmark, today announced the results of a survey of parents and their
teenagers on social networking behaviors – the first national social networking
privacy survey to be conducted on both parents and their teens that also
measures parental expectations against actual teen behavior. The poll,
conducted by Lightspeed Research, included responses from two thousand
parents and teenagers to reveal: their level of involvement with social networks;
perceptions and concerns about their privacy when using social networks; and
parental monitoring and engagement with their teens on social networks.

The study is titled “The Kids are Alright,” as it reflects in many ways parents and
teens doing the right things on social networks. For example, parents are
monitoring and engaging with their teens online; and, teens are using available
privacy controls. That said, many teens are over-posting, over-sharing, and over-
friending – including with people they don’t know.

“It is crucial to get an accurate view of how teens are behaving online and how
parents think about online safety in order to continue to make the Internet a safer
place,” said Stephen Balkam, CEO of Family Online Safety Institute. “This survey
helps demonstrate the need to teach a new kind of digital citizenship, one that
emphasizes tolerance, civility and respect for each other in person and online.”

An overwhelming 98 percent of parents indicate that both their teen’s privacy –
as well as control over their own personal information – is important, very
important or extremely important when using social media websites. Overall, the
survey suggests that parents and teens are doing a number of the right activities
to protect their privacy:

       80 percent of parents and 78 percent of teens feel in control of their
        personal information on social networking sites;
       84 percent of parents are confident their teen is responsible with personal
        information on a social networking site;
       72 percent of parents surveyed monitor their teens’ accounts, with 50
        percent of these parents monitoring weekly, 35 percent daily and 10
        percent monthly; and,
       84 percent of parents are accurate in understanding the amount of time
        their teen spends on social networks and generally have a good
        understanding of the activities they are engaged in online.
However, teens are still engaging in potentially harmful activities:

      18 percent of teens have been embarrassed or disciplined as a result of a
       posting;
      80 percent of teens use privacy settings at some point to hide content
       from certain friends and/or parents; and,
      68 percent of teens surveyed have at some time accepted friend invites
       from people they don’t know, with 8 percent accepting all, 34 percent
       accepting some, and 26 percent accepting rarely.

As a result, it’s not surprising then that 82 percent of parents would like to delete
information from their teens’ accounts or otherwise exert more control.

“The data clearly shows that parents place the utmost importance on their teens’
online privacy and control of their personal information,” said Fran Maier,
President and Executive Chair at TRUSTe. “But, protecting the privacy of teens
on social networks is not easy as they can be technically adept, have strong
motivations to connect widely, and don’t yet have the maturity to look out for their
long term interests. As with any other privacy issue, there is no one panacea –
neither government nor education nor technology can offer the perfect solution.
Uniquely, we believe the opportunity with teens rests with responsible privacy
practices that recognize teens are an important segment with special needs,
coupled with parents who are in a strong position to educate and help their teens
navigate the risks.”

“TRUSTe’s survey reinforces what we're seeing – that parents and teens share a
keen interest in teen privacy in social network sites, that most teens are acting on
those privacy interests, and that parents are, at the same time acknowledging
that and wisely seeing the need to support teens' responsible use with some
monitoring," said Anne Collier, Co-Director, ConnectSafely.org. “It's great to see
that parents aren't projecting all the news coverage of extreme cases onto their
own teens' online experiences, but we all know, too, that family discussion and
online privacy education need to continue."

TRUSTe advises the social networks it certifies, to provide more protective
privacy defaults for this age group, especially for sensitive information such as
location data.

“Educating teens about online safety and digital citizenship is a responsibility
shared by parents, safety advocates, services like TRUSTe, and companies like
Facebook,” said Joe Sullivan, Facebook’s Chief Security Officer. “We’re thrilled
to see the positive ways that teens and parents are engaging with social
networks, and will continue to work with TRUSTe and others to develop
innovative and robust solutions to keep teens safe.”
Facebook clearly dominates as the leading social networking site with a
whopping 95 percent of parents and 90 percent of teens with a social networking
account using the popular site. Within households where both the adult and teen
reported Facebook accounts, one-third of teens surveyed said they helped open
and set up the account for one or both of their parents, and most of those teens
are friends with their parents, with more girls friending parents than boys.

The majority of parents and teens said they feel confident about the safeguards
they have in place for their Facebook accounts, although 89 percent of parents
want default privacy settings on all teen accounts to limit the amount of
information that is public and to restrict advertiser and application access to their
teen’s information. Parents are looking for more direct ways to control their teen’s
information and overall want greater control.

Not surprisingly, most parents spend less time than teens on social networking
and Facebook, although the majority of both groups checked Facebook at least
once a day and frequently more often. Teens also engaged in more social
networking activities than parents, such as chatting, playing games, sharing
online content and taking quizzes and on average have a larger number of
Facebook friends.

How Parents Can Lead Teens in Social Networking
While sites like Facebook are increasing privacy efforts for minors, it is ultimately
a parent’s responsibility to know what their kids are up in the world of social
networking, in order to avoid pitfalls that can include bullying, hacking and even –
in rare cases – suicide. Even though teens may be more technically savvy,
parents have the greater breadth of world knowledge and insight needed to
protect their children. Some tips for parents include:

      learn about social networking technologies first-hand;
      explain to teens that they should only post information they are
       comfortable with others seeing;
      advise teens about what information should be private; and,
      discuss the importance of passwords.

TRUSTe has compiled these suggestions and others, as well as the full survey
findings, into a free resource for parents: “How to Protect Your Teen on Social
Networks: Privacy Tips for Parents.” The guide helps parents ensure that they
are discussing the most important aspects of privacy with their teen – from
password protection to settings. In addition, TRUSTe has developed a separate
resource targeted specifically toward a teen audience to help bridge the privacy
knowledge gap. An online privacy video presentation, as well as footage of
parents and teens talking on camera about their attitudes regarding privacy and
social networks, is available as well. All of these resources can be accessed
immediately at: www.truste.com/2010-survey/.
We welcome inquiries about this research. To set up an interview with one of our
experts, please use the contact information below.

About TRUSTe
Thousands of companies rely on TRUSTe’s leading privacy trustmark to enhance
consumer trust, drive increased registrations and transactions, and comply with
complex privacy requirements. Consumers know that when they see the
TRUSTe seal, they can “Click with Confidence” because the certified website is
responsible with their personal information. TRUSTe has certified more than 40
percent of the top fifty websites, including Adobe, AOL, Apple, AT&T, CNN,
eBay, Facebook, Flickr, GoDaddy, LinkedIn, Microsoft, PayPal, Weather.com,
WebMD, and Yahoo. For additional information on TRUSTe and its services,
please visit http://www.truste.com.

About Lightspeed Research
Lightspeed Research (www.lightspeedresearch.com) is the market researcher’s
choice for digitally accessing and deriving insight from consumer opinions and
behaviors whenever, wherever and in whatever segments needed. The industry’s
most thorough panelist pre-screening process and large global pool delivers
business-ready results quickly and cost-effectively. From proprietary online
access panels to specialty panels, custom panels and innovative mobile surveys,
Lightspeed Research offers the industry’s highest-quality and most complete
combination of qualitative and quantitative online research. This is backed by an
expert client operations team that provides a range of data collection services,
from sample management and survey design to programming and reporting.
Part of Kantar, a division of WPP, Lightspeed Research serves clients and
cultivates online panelists across the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific.

                                      ###
Media contact:
Kim Barsi
Storyboard PR for TRUSTe
(415) 516-5863
trustepr@storyboardpr.com

				
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