Forty Percent of Parents Using Web Filtering to Block More Than Sexual Content

Data from McAfee Safe Eyes Software Shows Wide-Ranging Parental Concerns

Tuesday, February 1, 2011 5:00 am PST



Public Company Information:

"Clearly, parents are recognizing the power of Web filtering to assist them in protecting children from negative influences of all kinds, whether it’s nudity, racist rhetoric or the temptation to plagiarize."

ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE), now a part of McAfee, Inc. (NYSE:MFE), today revealed that nearly 40 percent of parents who use Web filtering software to protect their children from sex-related online content also block Web sites dealing with a variety of other topics they consider inappropriate. The findings were compiled from anonymous usage data from McAfee® Safe Eyes® parental control software in the United States.

The analysis of tens of thousands of Safe Eyes software settings demonstrates that parents who take steps to control their children’s Internet access are concerned about far more than potential exposure to dirty words and X-rated images. The data shows that:

  • The top non-sexual Web site categories blocked by Safe Eyes software users are hate/discrimination (38 percent), gambling (36 percent), murder/suicide (34 percent), drugs (32 percent), alcohol (29 percent) and violence (28 percent)
  • Twenty-seven percent of users bar children’s access to Web sites that promote school cheating and plagiarism by providing term papers, written essays or exam answers
  • Two users out of 10 choose to filter Internet TV shows with an MA (mature) rating, a newer option that is rapidly gaining adherents as more parents become aware that many TV shows forbidden in the family room are available online
  • Fewer than 20 percent block chat and social networking websites, indicating the importance of these channels in a child’s social life despite concerns about cyberbullying and online predators. However, 83 percent choose to monitor instant message conversations as a means of protecting children from these dangers.

Virtually all Safe Eyes software users retain the software’s default settings to prevent children from accessing Web sites dealing with pornography, nudity, sex and tasteless/gross content. More than one-third also add other sex-related categories such as lingerie, swimsuits and adults-only to the blacklist by checking the filtering options on the software’s administrative menu.

“These numbers paint a picture of vigilant parents who understand that porn sites are not the only inappropriate content on the web. In fact, the hate/discrimination category is the most frequently blocked after sex-related topics, even though there has been relatively little focus on this area as it relates to children,” said Stanley Holditch, online safety expert for McAfee. “Clearly, parents are recognizing the power of Web filtering to assist them in protecting children from negative influences of all kinds, whether it’s nudity, racist rhetoric or the temptation to plagiarize.”

About McAfee

McAfee, headquartered in Santa Clara, California, is the world's largest dedicated security technology company. McAfee delivers proactive and proven solutions and services that help secure systems, networks, and mobile devices around the world, allowing users to safely connect to the Internet, browse and shop the Web more securely. Backed by its unrivaled Global Threat Intelligence, McAfee creates innovative products that empower home users, businesses, the public sector and service providers by enabling them to prove compliance with regulations, protect data, prevent disruptions, identify vulnerabilities, and continuously monitor and improve their security. McAfee secures your digital world.

NOTE: McAfee and Safe Eyes are registered trademarks or trademarks of McAfee, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. Other marks may be claimed as the property of others. The product plans, specifications, and descriptions herein are provided for information only and are subject to change without notice, and are provided without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied.


McAfee, Inc.
Kim Eichorn, 408-346-3606
Molly Antos, 847-415-9327