Young children are actively searching on terms such as ‘sex’ and ‘porn’, according to research revealed by security software company Norton.
The security software company examined the top 100 searches made by 4,000 children aged 18 and under.
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Young kids searching for sexual content
Overall, the most popular search terms for 2009 were for social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube.
Searches for sex and porn were near the top of the list for the 13-18 age group. Children aged between eight and ten and the sevens and under also had adult search terms in the top twenty.
Sarah Kidner, editor of Which? Computing said: ‘Security and parental control software can help to protect your children online. However, the fact that children are actively searching for adult content confirms the importance of keeping an open dialogue with them.’
YouTube, Google, and Facebook showed up in the top three of both boys’ and girls’ search terms, but then the sexes diverge with boys’ number 7 search term being “porn” and number 12 being “sex”.
Girls are also curious about sex (their number 10 search term) but their top 25 search terms focused more on music, TV, movie and celebrity-related terms, while boys’ top 25 search terms were mainly comprised of social networking sites, shopping sites, adult terms and games.
Top 10 searches by children
The overall top ten searched for items across all ages and both genders in 2009 were:
- Club Penguin
Celebrities were also popular search topics for children with the X-Factor’s Cheryl Cole beating the King of Pop Michael Jackson into the lead.
Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift also made the top 100.
While celebrity searches may seem safe, Norton recently highlighted how cybercriminals take advantage of celebrity-linked news and events to lure people into visiting infected websites and opening or phishing emails.
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