One of the most influential forces in our lives today is the Internet. This is especially true for the millions of youth gearing up for school all over the country. Our youth and their parents rely on smartphones, tablets, laptops and other devices to communicate, work, play and learn. It’s almost second nature for all of us to jump online with a tap here and a swipe there.
We wish navigating the Internet was a worry-free activity but unfortunately, we need to be vigilant about the information we share, the websites we visit and the business we conduct. With a few simple steadfast rules in addition healthy, meaningful conversations about the Internet between parents and youth, we can reduce the risks and become better online citizens.
To help you understand what research shows, here are a few statistics:
42% of LGBTQ youth experience online bullying or harassment. 3X more than the rate of non-LGBTQ young people.
21% of internet users have had an email or social networking account compromised or taken over by someone else without permission.¹
Over 40% of teens (13-17 years old) have been bullied online – 25% report it has happened more than once.²
43% of teens (13-17 years old) say they have posted something online that they later regretted.³
33% of disconnected adults say that they stay offline because accessing the web is too difficult or frustrating, they are physically unable, or they are worried about other issues such as spam, spyware hackers.¹¹
At LGBT Tech, we are committed to keeping our community safe online. Whether providing information on social media security, partnering with STOP. THINK. CONNECT. or working with legislators to de-censor LGBTQ web content, LGBT Tech strives to provide our community members with tools to building their online presences. But, we can’t do it alone.
LGBT Technology Partnership & Institute recently worked with AT&T’s Consumer Safety & Education to include specific information for LGBT individuals on a new initiative called Digital You. Digital You is a new, comprehensive AT&T program that will offer tools, tips, apps, guidance and community education events for people of all ages and levels of online experience to learn more about how to have a safe and secure online experience. Exploring how to use a smartphone or tablet to guard against identity theft or take a stand against cyberbullying can make navigating cyberspace less daunting and more fulfilling.
It’s up to all of us to create a safe, engaging digital world for the LGBTQ community. Digital You is just one of the many resources our community can take advantage of. AT&T’s new program provides everything from tips on how to prevent and stop cyberbullying, to social media posting guidelines to a glossary for parents.
We were proud to work alongside other great organizations including — Common Sense Media, AARP, the OASIS Institute, the National Consumers League, the National Cyber Security Alliance, League of United Latin American Citizens, Wireless Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center, and Call for Action.
1. Pew Research Center, “Anonymity, Privacy, and Security Online,” September 5, 2013
2. Moessner, Chris. “Cyberbullying, Trends and Tudes.” NCPC.org. Accessed February 10, 2014, http://www.ncpc.org/resources/files/pdf/bullying/Cyberbullying%20Trends%20-%20Tudes.pdf.
3. The Online Generation Gap: Contrasting attitudes and behaviors of Parent and Teens , Submitted to The Family Online Safety Institute by Hart Research Associates, Nov. 14, 2012.11. Pew Research Center, ” Who’s Not Online and Why,” September 25, 2013