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  • 1 November 2014 09:54

A Quarter of Australian Teenagers Have Online Regrets by Age 16

AVG Technologies research reveals privacy time bomb as teenagers’ lives are diarised online

The latest AVG Digital Diaries research from AVG Technologies has found that a quarter of Australian teens (25 per cent) say they regret posting something online. The research also found 29 per cent have had to ask someone to remove content posted online about them, because they didn’t like it (66 per cent) or it was too personal (21 per cent).

The global research, which questioned almost 4,000 teenagers aged 11-16 years old in eight countries, including 529 from Australia, on the topic of online privacy, painted an overall picture of a struggle for control. Although 75 per cent of Australian teens have changed their settings on Facebook to make it more difficult for people to find them and 72 per cent say they understand what online privacy means, only 29 per cent say they ‘properly know’ all of their Facebook friends.

Even at this age, there are signs that teenagers have differing ideas of how much is too much when it comes to sharing online:

• 24 per cent of teenagers would talk to a friend about deeply personal things online.

• A quarter (25 per cent) have talked to a friend or family member whom they felt shared too much. • While more than half (53 per cent) say they hardly ever share content, there is still a small group (8 per cent) that feel they shared too much about themselves online.

• 14 per cent have been asked by someone else to remove content they have shared online.

• Nearly a third (29 per cent) have requested the removal of a comment or picture uploaded by someone else.

“Everyone assumes that just because today’s teenagers grew up with laptops and smartphones, they somehow have an innate understanding of how to keep themselves safe online. The reality is that we have all – teenagers included – embraced technology without much question and the result has been the steady erosion of our online privacy,” said Michael McKinnon, Security Advisor at AVG Technologies Australia.

“In a way, parents are just as guilty of this as their teens. I’ve talked previously about the concept of ‘sharenting’, where parents share content about their children online, creating a digital footprint for them over which they have no control. I believe we must take some of the responsibility for the social impact of new technologies –by setting a standard for trust and consideration through our own online behaviour.”

Also identified by the research was the struggle teens face retaining control of their online profile:

• A significant majority (84 per cent) had put a password on their device – although 70 per cent noted that their parents knew some or all of these passwords.

• Almost two-fifths (38 per cent) were aware of a family member looking at their device without permission. A further 18 per cent said that someone had found private information on their device they hadn’t wanted anyone to see.


Note to Editors


AVG commissioned an online survey interviewing teenagers between the ages of 11-16 to identify privacy awareness and practices in the following markets; Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. A total of 3,999 carried out the survey during September 2014, of which 529 were Australian. Research Now carried out the fieldwork using their proprietary panels.

Further Resources

Find out more about AVG Digital Diaries research at:


About AVG Technologies (NYSE: AVG)

AVG is the online security company providing leading software and services to secure devices, data and people. AVG has over 182 million active users, as of June 30, 2014, using AVG’s products and services including Internet security, performance optimization, and personal privacy and identity protection. By choosing AVG’s products, users become part of a trusted global community that engages directly with AVG to provide feedback and offer mutual support to other customers.

All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

For further information please contact: Michael McKinnon AVG 03 9581 0845 Shuna Boyd BoydPR 02 9418 8100

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