Study finds 92% of babies are online by age 2, baby dating site valuations soar
Posting all the sordid details of your life on Facebook? Fine, if you're into that sort of thing. Posting all the sordid details of someone else's life, without their permission? That's when you start to wade into slightly murky ethical waters, and when that other person is a baby it's an even more questionable situation. A study commissioned by AVG finds that 92 percent of American children have some sort of "online presence" by age two, with an average "digital birth" happening at around six months. That means most children will have had some picture posted or status updated before they're walking, while a third get online before they've even left the womb, pics popping up on Facebook before doctors get a chance to wipe the sonogram jelly from mummy's tummy. It's all innocent enough, but a bit disconcerting too, with AVG CEO JR Smith summing it up nicely:
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... 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.
You do know how to manage your privacy settings, right?


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Digital Birth: Welcome to the Online World

AVG Study Finds a Quarter of Children Have Online Births Before Their Actual Birth Dates


AMSTERDAM--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Uploading prenatal sonogram photographs, tweeting pregnancy experiences, making online photo albums of children from birth, and even creating email addresses for babies - today's parents are increasingly building digital footprints for their children prior to and from the moment they are born.

"Our research shows that the trend is increasing for a child's digital birth to coincide with and in many cases pre-date their real birth date. A quarter of babies have sonogram photos posted online before they have even physically entered into the world."
Internet security company AVG surveyed mothers in North America (USA and Canada), the EU5 (UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain), Australia/New Zealand and Japan, and found that 81 percent of children under the age of two currently have some kind of digital profile or footprint, with images of them posted online. In the US, 92 percent of children have an online presence by the time they are two compared to 73 percent of children in the EU5.

According to the research, the average digital birth of children happens at around six months with a third (33%) of children's photos and information posted online within weeks of being born. In the UK, 37 percent of newborns have an online life from birth, whereas in Australia and New Zealand the figure is 41 percent.

Almost a quarter (23%) of children begin their digital lives when parents upload their prenatal sonogram scans to the Internet. This figure is higher in the US, where 34 percent have posted sonograms online, while in Canada the figure is even higher at 37 percent. Fewer parents share sonograms of their children in France (13%), Italy (14%) and Germany (15%). Likewise only 14 percent of parents share these online in Japan.

Seven percent of babies and toddlers have an email address created for them by their parents, and five percent have a social network profile.

When asked what motivates parents to post images of their babies on the Internet, more than 70 percent of all mothers surveyed said it was to share with friends and family. However, more than a fifth (22%) of mothers in the US said they wanted to add more content to their social network profiles, while 18 percent of US mothers said they were simply following their peers.

Lastly, AVG asked mothers how concerned they are (on a scale of one to five with five being very concerned) about the amount of online information available on their children in future years. Mothers were moderately concerned (average 3.5), with Spanish mothers being the most concerned (3.9) and Canadian mothers the least (3.1) worried.

According to AVG CEO JR Smith, "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.

"Our research shows that the trend is increasing for a child's digital birth to coincide with and in many cases pre-date their real birth date. A quarter of babies have sonogram photos posted online before they have even physically entered into the world.

"It's completely understandable why proud parents would want to upload and share images of very young children with friends and families. At the same time, we urge parents to think about two things:

"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."

The research was conducted by Research Now among 2200 mothers with young (under two) children during the week of 27 September. Mothers in the EU5 (UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain), Canada, the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Japan were polled.

Key results

1 - Mothers with children aged under two that have uploaded images of their child
Overall - 81%

USA - 92%
Canada - 84%

UK - 81%
France - 74%
Italy - 68%
Germany - 71%
Spain - 71%
(EU5 - 73%)

Australia - 84%
New Zealand - 91%
Japan - 43%

2 - Mothers that uploaded images of their newborn
Overall - 33%

USA - 33%
Canada - 37%

UK - 37%
France - 26%
Italy - 26%
Germany - 30%
Spain - 24%
(EU5 - 28.6%)

Australia - 41%
New Zealand - 41%
Japan - 19%

3 - Mothers that have uploaded antenatal scans online
Overall - 23%

USA - 34%
Canada - 37%

UK - 23%
France - 13%
Italy - 14%
Germany - 15%
Spain - 24%
(EU5 - 20%)

Australia - 26%
New Zealand - 30%
Japan - 14%

4 - Mothers that gave their baby an email address
Overall - 7%

USA - 6%
Canada - 9%

UK - 4%
France - 7%
Italy - 7%
Germany - 7%
Spain - 12%
(EU5 - 7%)

Australia - 7%
New Zealand - 4%
Japan - 7%

5 - Mothers that gave their baby a social network profile
Overall - 5%

USA - 6%
Canada - 8%

UK - 4%
France - 2%
Italy - 5%
Germany - 5%
Spain - 7%
(EU5 - 5%)

Australia - 5%
New Zealand - 6%
Japan - 8%

Keep in touch with AVG

For breaking news, follow AVG on Twitter at www.twitter.com/officialAVGnews
For security trends analysis, follow AVG blogs at http://blogs.avg.com
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About AVG Technologies
www.avg.com

AVG is a global security software maker protecting more than 110 million consumers and small businesses in 170 countries from the ever-growing incidence of Web threats, viruses, spam, cyber-scams and hackers on the Internet. AVG has nearly two decades of experience in combating cyber crime and one of the most advanced laboratories for detecting, pre-empting and combating Web-borne threats from around the world. Its free, downloadable software allows novice users to have basic anti-virus protection and then easily upgrade to greater levels of safety and defense when they are ready. AVG has nearly 6,000 resellers, partners and distributors globally including Amazon.com, CNET, Cisco, Ingram Micro, Play.com, Wal-Mart, and Yahoo!

Source: http://www.avg.com/press-releases-news

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Study finds 92% of kids are online by age 2, baby dating site valuations soar