In a September 2010 study by AVG Technologies and Research Now, they found that, in the United States, 92% of children under age two have a digital presence on the Internet, including digital photos posted online. According to AVG Technologies, they polled mothers who have Internet access in the United States as well as nine other countries (link). Among these ten countries, a child has a digital presence on the Internet at the age of six months on average!
Other interesting conclusions from the September 2010 study are that:
- 34% of U.S. mothers upload images of their prenatal ultrasound scans;
- 33% of U.S. mothers upload images of their newborn within weeks of being born;
- 6% of U.S. mothers give their baby an e–mail address; and
- 6% of U.S. mothers give their baby a social network profile.
It was not part of this study, but I have talked with people who have registered domain names for their children (e.g., jimlamm.com) when they are born. I wouldn’t be surprised if some tech-savvy parents consider the availability of a domain name for their child when choosing the child’s name!
When doing estate planning for passwords, online accounts, and other digital property, it’s important to include the accounts and digital property a person may have for their children, their own parents, and other family members. With this study’s conclusion that a child may have a digital presence on the Internet starting at the age of six months on average (and the child may even have ultrasound images posted before birth), we need to start planning for passwords and digital property early!