Internet Safety Statistics & Digital Citizenship Tips

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March 28, 2017

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This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!


Sharon M.

Parent VIP Member

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Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.


Director of College Advising

Educator Webinar Attendee

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This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.


Irene C.

Educator Webinar Attendee

This app is listed in the Green Zone.
This app is not safe for students to use unsupervised, but a Green Zone app can serve a positive purpose to help a student to navigate social media and someday build an online brand. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Green Zone.

This app is listed in the Gray Zone.
Gray Zone apps often contain lots of private & disappearing messages, and strangers can use this to chat with students. Parents should participate in these apps with students to keep them safe. This zone can be a great place for family time since many of these apps can be entertaining, and let your students express themselves. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Gray Zone.

This app is listed in the Red Zone.
Red Zone apps often have lots of anonymous features, adult content, and easy contact with strangers. Supervision is strongly suggested on each of these apps or move your kids to a safer zone. All apps require parental supervision, these apps more than others. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Red Zone or view our list of 100+ Apps to find a safer app with your student.
Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ app reviews at

This trend is categorized as a Dangerous Social Media Challenge.
Viral challenges encourage students to do dangerous things to garner likes, views, attention, and subscribers. These challenges can be found across several social networks and may encourage students to perform dangerous activities. keeps parents updated on these social media challenges before an incident may occur in your community.

Table of Contents

What is the Digital Safety Survey?

Over the past 4 years, we have created 37 digital safety app guides helping to keep students safe. We created a Digital Safety Survey so our readers could help us understand their biggest frustrations and needs so we can better serve parents and educators.

Our survey questions

  • What are the ages of your tudents?
  • What is your biggest question/concern with regards to digital safety?
  • What is the scariest part about your students/kids being online?
  • What apps are your kids using?

Who completed our Digital Safety Survey?

2017 Internet Safety Statistics & Digital Citizenship Tips
Who completed our Digital Safety Survey?

  • 59.4% - Parents
  • 48.5% - Educators
  • 4% - Law Enforcement
  • 10.9% - Other

What ages are the students that they work with?

2017 Internet Safety Statistics & Digital Citizenship Tips
What ages are the students that they work with?

  • 47.1% - Elementary
  • 47.1% - Middle School
  • 13.7% - Jr High School
  • 37.3% - High School
  • 14.7% - Multiple
  • 5.9% - Other

What apps are their students using the most?

2017 Internet Safety Statistics & Digital Citizenship Tips

What is their biggest concern?

  • Online privacy
  • Kids don’t know that something has the potential to be dangerous
  • Teaching kids the good/ positive side of social media?
  • Helping them to make wise, safe & smart long term decisions about what they post
  • What it's doing to their brains
  • What are they actually doing online when I’m not looking?
  • Teaching them that Snapchat does not disappear
  • Online bullying/cyberbullying
  • Predators
  • Keeping up with all the new apps
  • Helping students to say no to well-known apps that are unsafe
  • Helping them to turn it off and transition to productive things
  • Blocking access to unsafe sites
  • Getting students to ask/talk to parents about social media
  • Sharing personally identifiable information without them knowing
  • Keeping kids safe at other people’s houses

What is the scariest part of their students being online?

  • Predators/bullying
  • Homework
  • Giving out too much info
  • Info not being secure (though apps claim it is)
  • People taking advantage of my kids online
  • Lack of wisdom (and not wanting to listen to their parents)
  • Parents have lack of knowledge
  • All of the new apps that pop up
  • Wasting time online that is not productive and can’t get it back
  • Not knowing who is contacting my daughter
  • Anxiety my kids might feel from online posts of others
  • Kids living a double life and not telling parents what happens in their digital life (they only share physical life events)
  • When do we let go and give them freedom?
  • Kids seem to self-destruct and go around safety restrictions every time
  • Leaving a trace that can harm them later in life

Internet safety statistics

  • 92% of teens post their real name on their online profiles
  • 58% of teens don’t think posting personal info online is unsafe
  • 69% of teens regularly receive personal messages online from strangers and most of them don’t tell a trusted adult

Source: Online Safety Site

Digital safety in the news

Online risks are everyday events for teens -- but they rarely tell their parents. Forbes
Parents are desperately looking for ways to protect teens from online predators, bullies, and their own poor decision making. NPR

Why should parents care?

  • Teens spend a lot of time online and on a mobile device, daily. Parents tend to underestimate how often teens encounter online risks
  • A lot of teens refrain from telling an adult about dangerous online activities because they fear the adult will react negatively

What can parents do?

  • Routinely audit your student’s digital footprint with Footprint Friday. Visit to learn more.
  • Have a dialog with your teen about having a positive online reputation for college admissions and future career opportunities
  • Decide which apps are okay for your student to use by referring to our Parent App Guide
  • Become a social media safety expert at our next free webinar and learn 3 hidden app features that encourage bad behavior

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