social media safety statistics

Teen Safety in the News: The Statistics

social media safety statistics

Knowledge is the key to understanding, which is why we’ve always looked thoroughly into the latest studies and research to bring you up-to-date information about the world of teens in the digital age.

It’s not easy; as any professional will tell you, the digital landscape is advancing so quickly that researchers can barely keep up, and these numbers are meant to reflect trends, rather that pinpoint accuracies. Nevertheless, we have managed to learn a few important things about what teens are doing – and these are the numbers worth knowing.

Teens and Smartphones:

  • As of 2015, 73% of teens have a smartphone, and another 15% have a cell phone of another type (Source)
  • 92% of teens go online daily, and 24% go online “almost constantly” (Source)
  • 91% of teens will access the internet through mobile devices on a regular basis (Source)
  • Teens who do not access the internet via smartphones tend to go online less frequently – only 68% go online daily or more often (Source)
  • Most teens have multiple ways of accessing the internet – only 4% have access to one type of device, and only 1% have no access at all (Source)
  • The average teen has access to the internet – and social media – through a desktop computer, one or more gaming consoles (Playstation, Xbox, etc.), a smartphone, and/or a tablet computer. (Source)
  • 6% of youth admit to using smartphones to cheat on tests (Source)

Social Media:

  • Facebook still remains the most widely-used network among teens, with 74% of teens having an account (Source)
  • 71% of teens use more than one social networking site. (Source)
  • When posting on social media, teens tends to take a “disclose first, then make corrections” approach (Source)
  • 56% of millennials are willing to share their location via social media to get coupons from nearby businesses. (Source)
  • Hispanic and African-American teens are most likely to use social media for messaging each other (Source)


  • On average, at least 34% of students have been cyberbullied at least once (Source)
  • Spreading rumors (19.4%) and mean or hurtful comments (12.8%) are among the most commonly-reported types of cyberbullying (Source)
  • Girls are significantly more likely than boys to be cyberbullied at some point (Source)
  • There is no statistically significant difference between boys and girls in the rate of reporting cyberbullying (Source)


  • Older teens are most likely to receive sexts, but not the most likely group to send them – the 25-34 age range actually sends more sexts than teens do (Source)
  • 14% of teens 18 or younger report receiving a suggestive image on their phone (Source)
  • An equal number admit to having sent suggestive images (Source)
  • Teens are more likely to send or receive suggestive texts than photographs or videos (Source)

Smartphone Addiction

  • “iPhone Separation Anxiety” is a real phenomenon, associated with feelings of unpleasantness, an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, and decreased cognition (Source)
  • About 12.5% of people are outright addicted to their smartphone (Source)

Teen Privacy

  • A majority of teens will post their photo, school name, city or town, and email address in public (Source)
  • 60% of teens have set their profiles to ‘private’ – which also means 40% aren’t protecting the privacy of their information (Source)

Parental Monitoring

  • Fewer than 47% of parents know what their children are doing online (Source)
  • 45% of teens would change their behavior online if they knew that their parents were watching (Source)
  • 43% of teens say that their parents check their phones at least occasionally (Source)
  • 38% of parents have a ‘curfew’, and past that time smartphone use is no longer allowed (Source)

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