Online Bullying Is a Top Concern Among Youth

REDMOND, Wash. — June 25, 2012 — More than half (54 percent) of children around the world worry about being bullied online, according to a new Global Youth Online Behavior Survey released today by Microsoft Corp. Conducted in 25 countries* Jan. 11, 2012, to Feb. 19, 2012, among more than 7,600 children ages eight to 17, the survey focuses on how kids are treating one another online and whether parents are addressing online behaviors. Microsoft commissioned the survey looking at of a range of online behaviors among youth — from “meanness” (least severe) to online bullying or cruelty (most severe).

Globally, the survey found the following:

• Four in 10 children surveyed (ages 8 to 17) say they have experienced what adults might consider online bullying.

• Twenty-four percent of children surveyed say they have done something parents would consider online bullying.

• Five percent of parents engage with their children’s school about online bullying, according to the children surveyed.

The survey also uncovered that children want to talk to parents about the issue, but only 29 percent of kids say their parents have talked to them about protecting themselves online. What’s more, according to the results, there is not one common step taken by parents to address the problem, with only 17 percent having communicated a clear set of rules for negative online behaviors.

“Kids need to know that they can turn to a trusted adult, such as a parent, caregiver or teacher, who will talk to them about all kinds of online safety concerns,” said Jacqueline Beauchere, director, Trustworthy Computing for Microsoft. “At Microsoft, we help empower adults with the productive tools and resources to help start the conversation with kids about how to stay safer online.”
In conjunction with the survey results, Microsoft is also releasing two additional resources:

Stand Up To Online Bullying Quiz. This interactive online quiz can be easily downloaded onto an organization’s or school’s website as a teaching tool. It is designed to walk adults through a series of scenarios in which, upon answering, the quiz delivers immediate guidance on how to talk about, identify and respond to the range of online behaviors from online meanness to bullying and beyond.

Digital Citizenship in Action Toolkit. Kids mirror adult behavior — the good, the bad and the ugly. This interactive educational guide helps teach users how to foster responsible use of technology in today’s digital world.

Teaching kids to be good “digital citizens” is one way to drive positive “upstander” behavior and instill strong ethics and online etiquette. Microsoft also partners with organizations like iKeepSafe, iLookBothWays and the Anti-Defamation League to provide professional development for teachers and school staff with courses in online bullying.

The survey took place Jan. 11, 2012, to Feb. 19, 2012. It was conducted online and in person by youth. Adults were allowed to help their children answer questions if necessary. Field work and data processing was performed by Synovate.

The full Global Youth Online Behavior Survey report, along with the complete list of individual executive summaries for each country, is available at http://www.microsoft.com/security/resources/research.aspx#onlinebullying.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

* Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Morocco, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Spain, Singapore, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, U.K. and the U.S.

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