December 18, 2009

Norton: “˜Sex’ A Top Internet Search Among Children

Findings released by Internet security specialty firm Norton showed that sex was a hot online search topic for children in 2009, AFP reported.

Data from Symantec-owned Norton showed that for Internet users under the age of 18, the words "porn" and "sex" were the next two most-searched subjects, behind YouTube, Google, and Facebook.

Symantec released a statement warning parents that such terms should raise a red flag if they haven't had 'The Talk' with their children about content that may not be "appropriate for kids."

Norton said the top 25 searches for boys were centered on social networking, games, shopping, and "adult terms."

The top 25 searches among girls leaned more toward music, movies, celebrities, and television shows.

Researchers collected the results of some 14.6 million searches conducted between February 2 and December 4 by users of a free OnlineFamily Norton service.

The program allows parents to filter or monitor their children's Internet use.

Norton Internet safety advocate Marian Merritt said when it comes to online threats, parents need to be concerned about more than just their child running into inappropriate content.

Merritt said what makes OnlineFamily.Norton unique is that it gives parents insight into kids' online activities and what interests them most.

"Parents can ensure they have a discussion with them about topics they're curious about, as well as protect them from cyberthreats," said Merritt.


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