Australian Tweens, Teens and Technology

Last year McAfee undertook some quite revealing research into the online behaviour of Aussie teens. Entitled ‘The Secret Life of Teens ‘ this research report taught us that 95% of our teens are accessing Facebook daily, 31% have broken the law through piracy and a shocking 6% have met up with a stranger they met online. Some very concerning stuff!!

But what about the tweens? Our soon-to-be teens? What are they up to? Do we really need to know what is going on?

This week, McAfee launched a very insightful research report into our Aussie tweens with the release of the Tweens, Teens and Technology Report. Launched by Senator Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy during Cybersecurity Awareness Week, the report reveals that children as young as eight are adopting the online behaviour of teens. So, yes – we need to know what is going on!!!!

Here are some of the key findings:

  • On average tweens (8-12 year olds) are using between 3-4 internet enabled devices including smartphones and tablets
  • 67% are using a social media website including Skype, Facebook, Club Penguin and Instagram
  • Skype is the most popular social network with 28% using the site
  • 1 in 4 are using Facebook despite the age eligibility being 13
  • 95% of tween parents have given permission for their children to be on Facebook
  • 1 in 5 tweens said they chatted online to someone that they didn’t know
  • Tweens are spending 1.5 hours per day online with most of this time spent chatting to friends
  • 25% have seen a nasty comment online

As a mum of four boys – (two tweens and two teens) and all things cyber – I consider myself in the know but I have to admit that some of those statistics really did shock me especially those relating to social media. But whether we like it or not, our kids are living digital lives. So putting our head in the sand and trying to pretend it is not happening just won’t work.

Instead, I strongly believe we owe it to our kids to educate and guide them through the online world. We need to help them navigate the risks and pitfalls and be prepared for some of the ‘trickier’ situations that the online world can throw up.

Now we don’t have to be psychologists to know that behaviour becomes entrenched from a young age. So if children are not properly educated about cyber safety from a young age then they will not be prepared to handle the situations they will face online as teenagers.

So, to address this, McAfee has teamed up with Life Education to provide cyber education to Australian children through a program called bCyberwise.

What a perfect way to support parents!!

Till Next Time,

Alex x

PS For more information on McAfee’s Cyber Education programme, please visit

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