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Alarming Internet Statistics

In June of 2000, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children conducted a survey of just over 1,500 children ages 10 to 17 who used the Internet regularly. Although this survey is becoming outdated, and many of the numbers have changed, it is a good representation of the dangers of the Internet and the importance of a parent's involvement.

Only one in three parents reported using blocking or filtering software on their children's computer.

Approximately one in four youths had an unwanted exposure online to sexual material.

Approximately one in five youths reported receiving a sexual solicitation over the Internet in the past year.

One in 33 had received a solicitation involving someone asking to meet them somewhere, phone them, or send them something in the mail.

Only about one in four youths who were sexually solicited over the Internet told a parent.

Less than one in ten sexual solitications were reported to the authorities.

Less than three percent of all unwanted exposures to sexual material online were reported to the authorities.

One in seventeen youths had been threatened or harassed over the Internet.

Only 10 percent of parents surveyed and 17 percent of youths surveyed could name one specific resource or authority to which they could make a report.

Keep these numbers in mind when you consider whether you truly know what is happening on your computer. Again, education and communication are key.

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