Digital Abilities Overtake Key Development Milestones for Today's Connected Children

 Digital Abilities Overtake Key Development Milestones for Today's Connected

AVG Technologies research shows number of children aged nine and under able to
use an app on a smartphone or tablet increased 38 percent over the last three

PR Newswire


AMSTERDAM and SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --Major moments in a
child's life, such as the first time they ride a bike, appear to be
increasingly superseded by digital coming-of-age capabilities like operating a
smartphone or opening a web browser. This digital immersion is charted in the
latest Digital Diaries study by AVG Technologies N.V. (NYSE: AVG), the
provider of Internet and mobile security, privacy and optimization to 172
million active users, which interviewed over 6,000 mothers across 10 countries
about how their children use the Internet and smart devices.

The research reveals that by the age of 3-5, more children are able play a
computer game (66 percent) or navigate a smartphone (47 percent) than tie
their shoes (14 percent) or swim unaided (23 percent). AVG's Digital Diaries
research was first undertaken four years ago when it surveyed mothers of
children aged 0-9 years old on the impact of technology in family life. With
59 percent of households having three or more connected devices, according to
AVG research, it may come as no surprise that children of this age are
extremely digitally capable.

"This research shows us that knowing how to use digital devices is almost a
birthright now. The challenge parents and society face, augmented by security
and privacy technologies, is where this goes next. It's similar when teaching
a child to read. Learning to read is the first challenge but it is what you do
with that skill that determines its value and risks," said Dr Chris Brauer,
Director of Innovation in the Institute of Management Studies at Goldsmiths,
University of London. "Like it or not, parents have a huge responsibility to
educate their children in responsible and productive use of digital
technologies. This research highlights the privacy and security considerations
for interconnected homes but also the need to promote balanced lifestyles and
that digital literacy is as much about use as access."

Some key findings from the research include:

0-2 years - Sharenting Trumps Privacy
Despite the ongoing public debate around online privacy, more parents than
ever are gifting their children with a digital footprint before they can walk,
talk or are even born.

  oOver four fifths (81 percent) of the mothers questioned admitted to
    uploading photos of their child online – with the majority of photos
    loaded before a child's first birthday (62 percent) and almost a third (30
    percent) during the prenatal stage.
  o'Sharenting', where parents publicly share their children's progress
    online, was mainly for friends and family (80 percent) – although a
    quarter (25 percent) do it purely to show off their child.

3-5 years – More Screen Smart than Street Smart?
With children increasingly immersed in the digital world from birth, the study
highlighted the growing dominance of technology-related life skills over more
traditional or practical skills.

  oA testament to the rising role of mobile devices in our children's lives,
    57 percent can also operate at least one app on a smartphone or tablet –
    an increase of 38 percent since the same question was asked four years

6-9 years – Blurring Real and Virtual Worlds
By the age of 6-9, the internet appears to have become deeply engrained in our
children's social lives, eliciting mixed responses from parents.

  oOf the 89 percent of this age group using the Internet, almost half (46
    percent) are playing in a kid's virtual world such as Webkinz™ or Club
    Penguin™ and almost one fifth (16 percent) are using Facebook.
  oLess than one mother in ten (9 percent) viewed these 'digital playgrounds'
    as hindering their child's social skills, but nearly one in five (19
    percent) were aware their children had experienced aggressive behavior
    online in the last year.

"Introduced to this world with a fanfare of social media activity and, by the
age of a few months, pacified with a device, our children are learning about
life literally through a screen. But how often are parents taking the time to
consider the short and long term implications of raising a family in this
connected world? Already there are indications of unpleasant behavior that can
lead to cyberbullying at this young age, even within controlled kid's
environments, and the step-up to a much more open network like Facebook is
massive," said Tony Anscombe, Senior Security Evangelist, AVG Technologies.
"Parents can't afford to become complacent as children of this age are not
emotionally equipped to handle all online experiences. Parents providing them
access to connected devices – that includes phones, tablets, game consoles and
anything else that connects to the internet - must take responsibility for
their safety and privacy."

All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

An online survey of 6,017 parents was undertaken in the UK, US, France,
Germany, Spain, Czech Republic, Australia, Brazil, Canada and New Zealand. The
survey was set up using Research Now and fieldwork
took place in November and December 2013.


About AVG Technologies (NYSE: AVG)
AVG's mission is to simplify, optimize and secure the Internet experience,
providing peace of mind to a connected world. AVG's powerful yet easy-to‐use
software and online services put users in control of their Internet
experience. By choosing AVG's software and services, users become part of a
trusted global community that benefits from inherent network effects, mutual
protection and support. AVG has grown its user base to 172 million active
users as of September 30, 2013 and offers a protection, performance and
privacy products and services suite to consumers and small businesses
including Internet security, performance optimization, mobile security, online
backup, identity protection and family safety software.

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SOURCE AVG Technologies

Contact: US, Katie Han, Waggener Edstrom for AVG,, +
1 (212) 551 4807, or UK, Samantha Woodman, Waggener Edstrom for AVG,, + 44 (0)20 7632 3840
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