Study: 90% of US kids have online presence by age 2

Most kids in developed countries have some sort of digital profile by their second birthday, according to a new study

It's increasingly common for children to have an online footprint before they're born, and most kids in many developed countries have some sort of digital profile by their second birthday, according to a new study by AVG, an Internet security firm.

AVG surveyed mothers in the US and Canada, the EU5 (UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain), Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. It found that nearly a quarter of children in these nations start their digital lives before their actual birth dates--when their parents upload their prenatal sonogram scans to the Internet.

In the States, 92 percent of children have a digital presence by age two, compared to 73 percent in the EU5, the study shows.

AVG also asked moms how concerned they are (on a 1-to-5 scale, with 5 being most concerned) about the amount of information available online on their kids in the future. Most were moderately concerned (a 3.5 average). Canadian mothers worried the least (3.1), while Spanish moms worried the most (3.9).

"It's shocking to think that a 30-year-old has an online footprint stretching back 10-15 years at most, while the vast majority of children today will have online presence by the time they are two-years-old - a presence that will continue to build throughout their whole lives," said AVG CEO JR Smith in a statement.

Parents, think before you post, warns Smith, who added these insights:

"First, you are creating a digital history for a human being that will follow him or her for the rest of their life. What kind of footprint do you actually want to start for your child, and what will they think about the information you've uploaded in future?

"Secondly, it reinforces the need for parents to be aware of the privacy settings they have set on their social network and other profiles. Otherwise, sharing a baby's picture and specific information may not only be shared with friends and family but with the whole online world."

And, come on, who really looks good in a sonogram?

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social mediaAVGinternetsocial networksInternet-based applications and services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeff Bertolucci

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?