Intel Security Survey Reveals New Family Challenges as Connected Lifestyle Grows

Parents Admit Dedicating Equal Amount of Time to Digital Device Usage
as In-Person Interaction While at Home


  • 76 percent of parents allow their child to bring an internet-connected
    device to bed.
  • Only 23 percent of parents admit to using software to monitor their
    children’s activity on their devices.
  • 36 percent of parents have been called out by their child for being on
    their device during family time.

SANTA CLARA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today Intel Security released findings from a recent global study, “New
Family Dynamics in a Connected World,” that aims to better comprehend
how families’ attitudes and habits are evolving as their homes and
lifestyles become increasingly connected. This study underscores the
need for simple ways for parents to manage internet connectivity in
their homes – from blocking inappropriate sites to controlling the
amount of time users spend on their devices to disconnecting to the
internet entirely from time to time.

Today, we are seeing the rise in popularity of the smart home and its
connected devices. In fact, Gartner forecasts that “there will be more
than 10.5 billion ‘things’ in homes by 2020,”1 which we
believe creates a larger potential risk that the devices and personal
data that flow from them can be compromised. While internet-connected
devices offer consumers new opportunities, they can also come with some
drawbacks and potential risks that can be the detriment of relationships.

“While there is tremendous excitement for the conveniences that today’s
technology brings, we know the weakest link in those devices within a
connected home put consumers at risk,” said Gary Davis, chief consumer
security evangelist at Intel Security. “We must empower parents to
actively manage how their families interact with those devices. When the
correct security and privacy measures are taken, consumers will feel
more protected enabling them to fully enjoy all the benefits of living
in a smart home.”

Current Monitoring Methods Don’t Keep Pace with Technology

  • Despite their concern of online risks and living a digitally led
    lifestyle, parents tend to use older methods to monitor their
    children’s device usage. Thirty-five percent of parents admitted to
    monitoring their child’s device usage by keeping the device in their
    possession and giving it to them only when they were around, while
    only 23 percent admit to using software to monitor activity.
  • Eighty percent of parents are concerned about their child potentially
    interacting with a social predator or cybercriminal online.

Today’s Digital Habits Cause New Parenting Concerns

  • Bedtime habits have changed a lot since the introduction of
    smartphones and tablets. Seventy-six percent of parents allow their
    child to bring an internet-connected device to bed.
  • Not only are parents concerned about who their children are
    interacting with online, they are also monitoring how much time they
    spend in front of a screen. Forty-eight percent of parents allow their
    child to have 1-2 hours of screen time per day, and 20 percent allow
    their child less than one hour a day.
  • Unfortunately, parents can’t be there all the time to monitor the
    device usage. In fact, 34 percent of parents claim they have
    discovered that their child visited an inappropriate website on their
  • Thirty-two percent of survey participants stated that they have argued
    with their child about bringing a device to bed.
  • Conversely, kids aren’t the only ones who are using devices when they
    shouldn’t: Approximately 36 percent of parents surveyed also claimed
    that their child has called them out for being on their device during
    family time.

The Good News: Online Safety Conversations Are Happening Between
Parents and Children

  • Parents understand the importance of talking to their children about
    the potential dangers on the internet, with roughly 85 percent having
    addressed the risks with their children at some point.

Tips to Keep Families Secure in Year Ahead

To stay protected in the evolving online world, Intel Security has the
following tips for parents:

  • Start conversations early. If you start talking about online
    safety early, it will make your job that much easier when your
    children get older. If your kids are young, start with simple rules
    like “don’t open emails from people you don’t know.” You want online
    safety to be part of normal behavior.
  • Set a good example. It’s easy to get caught up spending a lot
    of time on our devices, and kids pick up our habits – both good and
    bad. Set a positive example by limiting your time on social networks
    when at home and putting your phone away during dinner and family time.
  • Keep strangers out. Most children have been using devices
    from an early age, desensitizing them to the potentials risks of
    online behavior. A false sense of security can set in for children and
    they could be unknowingly interacting with a social predator or
    dangerous person posing as a teen (catfish). This isn’t just on social
    media networks; it applies to common services such as Uber*,
    Lyft* and Craigslist*. Remind kids that anyone can create a profile
    and to decline friend requests from strangers.
  • Take control of your home network. The home network is the hub
    for all of your connected devices. New solutions, such as McAfee
    Secure Home Platform
    , help you easily
    manage and protect devices connected to this network while providing
    parental controls with permissions that can be tailored to the entire

Find More Information:

  • To learn more about survey results, check out:

    Survey Methodology

    In December 2016, Intel Security commissioned OnePoll to conduct a
    survey of 13,000 adults (aged 18-55+). Respondents were individuals who
    use an internet-connected device on a daily basis and based in the
    following countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India,
    Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, the U.K. and
    the U.S.

    About Intel Security

    Intel Security, with its McAfee product line, is dedicated to making the
    digital world safer and more secure for everyone. Intel Security is a
    division of Intel Corporation. Learn more at

    1 Gartner, Market Trends: Choose a Functional Business Model
    for the Connected Home Market, 15 April 2016

    Intel and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the
    United States and other countries.

    *Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

    No computer system can be absolutely secure.


    Intel Security
    Craig Sirois, 214-405-2335
    Group, for Intel Security
    Ashley Dolezal, 650-801-0931