AT&T is proud to connect our customers to the digital world from anywhere at any time, whether it is for learning, gaming, entertainment or socializing. As our world grows more connected, AT&T wants all users to be good digital citizens and to be safe online. We are aware that online risks such as cyberbullying, use of inappropriate sites and risky online behaviors can have a significant impact on children and their parents. To learn more about this, AT&T commissioned a survey about online behaviors and perceptions. The study found children and teens are spending more time than ever online and on their mobile devices — and engaging in risky behaviors without their parents’ knowledge.
The survey, developed by AT&T in collaboration with bullying prevention non-profits No Bully and the Tyler Clementi Foundation, polled 500 New York City teens, 500 parents of teens and 500 millennial parents of younger children to gauge how children are consuming media on mobile devices — and what their parents understand of their behaviors.1
The survey revealed some unexpected findings:
84% of children ages 3–7 and 96% of those ages 8–12 now have their own internet connected device (a phone, tablet, computer, or gaming system), representing a sharp increase since 2017.
98% of teens have a device and 85% say they spend at least 3 hours a day online. Although 80% of millennial parents are concerned that their children are spending too much time on a device, nearly 3/4 admit to giving them an internet device to keep them occupied while they focus on other tasks.
2/3 of teens surveyed say they have engaged in at least one risky behavior online.
57% of teens say they know how to hide content from their parents.
Half of teens say they have experienced some form of cyberbullying.
1 in 5 teen girls surveyed said they have sent sexually explicit photos.
15% of teens said they have met strangers online.
60% of millennial parents of young children and nearly half of parents of teens believe they have taken sufficient steps to monitor their behaviors — despite the showing that parents oversight seems to be having little impact.
Families can be prepared with ScreenReadySM
These findings have spurred AT&T to action. We have launched the first of its kind online safety program right here in New York City. The newly developed retail-based initiative will assist families in navigating online issues. Parents can bring their family phones and tablets to company-owned AT&T stores in the New York metro area — regardless of their wireless carrier — to take advantage of our new ScreenReadySM program, which will provide consumers with two services free of charge:
• AT&T’s retail-based device experts will provide hands-on guidance with respect to the parental controls and content filter settings on the consumer’s phone and tablet. These settings, which are already built into the operating systems of many devices, can be hard to understand and navigate.
• Parents and caregivers will be able to access customized tips, created in collaboration with Common Sense Media, to fit their family’s unique online safety needs on a newly created AT&T mobile website, accessible in stores on free-to-use display tablets.
ScreenReadySM is the next step in AT&T’s efforts to help keep kids safe online. Over the past several years, AT&T has worked with the Tyler Clementi Foundation to help combat cyberbullying. In June 2017, we unveiled a student-led film, There’s a Soul Behind that Screen.
ScreenReadySM — an extension of AT&T BelievesSM, a larger company-wide initiative — aims to create positive change in our local communities. ScreenReadySM create a groundbreaking new model for delivering in-store education and support that can address a family’s unique online safety needs. It will also move beyond the store-based model to include programs at all Greater New York City YMCA locations, alongside continued programming for parents, educators, and teens.
Even more AT&T initiatives to help kids succeed
AT&T is not stopping at ScreenReadySM in New York City. In fact, we are expanding our Upstander ambassador peer-to-peer training program to public schools across the City in 2019 in an effort to address the alarming statistic that 1 in 2 students in NYC has experienced cyberbullying. The AT&T & Siena Upstander program — which AT&T launched with Siena College Research Institute in 2017 — brings trained Siena College students into high schools to teach students, educators and administrators about online safety through peer-to-peer conversations, role playing exercises and workshops.
The program’s goal is to empower students to stand up to negative online behavior, combat cyberbullying and become Upstander ambassadors within their schools and communities. The first Upstander program in New York City took place in late November 2018 at Capital Prep Harlem Charter School and, starting this spring, Siena College students will train students at CUNY’s Hunter College to conduct the Upstander program in schools throughout the five boroughs.
In addition to our New York City efforts, AT&T’s Later Haters program aims to promote positive dialogue in social media while our Great Game campaign promotes kindness and good sportsmanship within the online gaming world. We also offer tips and tools for parents and guardians on AT&T’s Digital You® website.
What others are saying about ScreenReadySM
“I love social media and know that it can be a powerful tool for good in this world. But I’m not naive to the fact that some people take advantage of social media and use its openness to harass and bully people — or worse. That is completely unacceptable, and we must urge everyone — young and old — to tweet and post with kindness. I applaud AT&T for taking charge and using its platform to foster cyberbullying prevention.” said New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.
“The YMCA’s top priority is keeping kids safe, in our classrooms, our programs, our gyms, and our camps. We are thrilled to join with AT&T to help parents keep kids safe online, both inside and outside the walls of the Y. Working together, we will all build stronger families and stronger communities across New York City.” said Sharon Greenberger, President & CEO, YMCA of Greater New York.
“It is the Tyler Clementi Foundation’s great privilege to once again collaborate with AT&T on gaining relevant data as to the understanding of how youth and parents are using or misusing the digital world. We welcome new and innovative resources like ScreenReadySM to help keep youth safe online, and we are grateful for companies like AT&T who take their corporate responsibilities in this world seriously.” said Jane Clementi, Co-Founder, Tyler Clementi Foundation.
“Common Sense has collaborated with AT&T over the years on a number of consumer education campaigns, and we are delighted to join with them on ScreenReadySM. The new in-store online safety pilot program in New York represents an important and first of its kind resource for parents who are seeking information on how to raise their children as responsible digital citizens, and really underscores our mutual commitment to the digital well-being of kids and families.” said Jill Murphy, Vice President and Editor in Chief, Common Sense Media.
“The percentage of children — especially young children — that now have their own tablet or smartphone is staggering. The question we face as a society is no longer whether we should give our children a device but how can we ensure that they are safe and successful in a digital world. No Bully is proud to partner with AT&T in this endeavor.” said Nicholas Carlisle, President, No Bully.
Spectrum News NY1: "Poll: 84 Percent of NYC Kids Ages 3 to 7 Have an Internet-Connected Device"
President — AT&T New York
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