Online & Wireless Safety Survey: Teenagers More Safety Conscious Than Perceived To Be

According to a recent study by Cox Communications on Teen Online and Wireless Safety Survey, teenagers may be a lot more safety conscious than most would think. A total number of 655 teenagers from age group (13 yrs – 18 yrs) in the US were asked about their online and mobile phone behavior, addressing issues concerning cyber-bullying and sexting in particular.

What is Cyber-bullying and Sexting?


Bullying, threatening or harassing others online or by text message


Sending sexually suggestive text messages or e-mails with lewd or provocative photos.

Stats: Access to Technology

  • 72 % of teens have a social-networking profiles
  • 73 % use cell phones
  • 91 % have an e-mail address



Though teens are aware of the risks, many still expose personal information about themselves online!

  • The majority of teens (59 %) believe posting personal information or photos on a public blog or social networking site is unsafe.
  • However 62% of them have posted photos of themselves.


  • About three-quarters of teens (76%) are at least somewhat concerned that personal information that is posted publicly could negatively impact their future.


  • 1 in 4 teens know someone who has had something bad happen to them because of information or photos posted electronically on a publicly accessible site.

How risky is it anyway?

If we look at the real risk factors, teenage behavior isn’t nearly as dangerous as even teens say they think it is. Results reveal millions of kids engage in this practice and very few encounter any serious problem as a result.

Cyber-bullying and Sexting

The numbers are not as bad as when compares with some earlier studies in the past.

  • Stats reveal that Cyber-bullying is widespread among today’s teens, with over one-third having experienced it, engaged in it, or known of friends who have who have done either.
  • That one-third is cumulative of bullies, people who have been bullied and even people who know someone who’s been bullied.

Cyber-bullying Stats:

  • Almost 19 % of teens have been cyber-bullied online or via text message
  • 10 % say they’ve cyber-bullied someone else.
  • 27 % say they have seen or heard of a friend who was bullied online
  • 16 % say they’ve seen or heard of a friend who’s bullied others online or by cell phone.


  • 34% of those who have any engagement in the activity have both bullied and been bullied.


These numbers are lower than several studies conducted in the past.

Sexting Stats:

  • 19 % of teens have engaged in sexting
  • 9 % sent a sext
  • 17 % received one
  • 3 % forwarded a sext


  • 43% of those who have either sent or received sexts have done both and nearly all those who have sent sexts have received them.



  • Majority of young people have not engaged in risk-taking online behavior or been harmed online.
  • Teens are well aware about the potentially damaging implications of the material they post online.
  • However, a significant minority of teens are causing harm to others, being victimized by other teens, or putting themselves at risk, making it important for them to be given proper guidance about appropriate use of the Internet.

Click here to view the complete report.