Study: Videos, friends, games — and yes, sex — are hot with kids online

AFP reports that children are searching online for videos, social networks, games, and, yes, porn as they grow up in an Internet Age, according to computer security firm Symantec. The company on Aug. 11 released a list of the top 100 searches conducted by children whose computers are tied to an OnlineFamily.Norton service that lets parents track their offspring’s’ internet activities. The most popular search term was Google-owned video-sharing hotspot YouTube, where children go for snippets ranging from Japanese anime and silly viral videos to dance routines and help with math homework. "Seeing YouTube on top is no surprise," said Symantec Internet Safety Advocate Marian Merritt. "Kids use YouTube as a starting place for entertainment as well as for education purposes." Something unexpected was the tendency of children to rely on search engines to find web sites such as Google, Facebook, MySpace, and Yahoo! in what could be a sign they don’t fully grasp the internet address system. Google and Facebook were the second and third top search terms respectively. "Sex" came in fourth, just ahead of social-networking service MySpace and "porn," which was the sixth most common query.
"Any of us who have been teenagers are not surprised kids look for information about sex," Merritt said. "I think we have all gotten over our shock that the internet has porn." Symantec studied 3.5 million searches made by OnlineFamily.Norton service users worldwide between February and July of this year. Merritt sees the service as helping parents stay in tune with children as their lives move increasing online…

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