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Arizona most dangerous state for kids online, according to new study

Study: Arizona most dangerous for kids online
Posted at 4:51 AM, Apr 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-19 08:58:05-04

Kids are logging on to social media and their smartphones to find a world-wide web of danger.

In a new study, Arizona ranked first in the nation as the most dangerous state for kids online. 

The research was conducted by Internet Service Partners and there were a handful of factors that went into how they developed the rankings.

They looked at five different factors individually: Malware infection rates, youth victims of internet crime, cyberbullying laws, youth mental illness and education ranking. 

"Part of that education-level in the school systems is teaching students how to navigate the internet safely," Hilary Bird with ISP explained. "So, if schools are ranking lower on that scale, then that could definitely reflect children not knowing how to properly navigate the internet."

Each category was weighted differently with education weighted at 10 percent, while youth victims of internet crime and cyberbullying laws were weighted at 30 percent. 

Bird broke down Arizona's ranking out of the 50 states for each category and where their sources came from:

  • [Engima Software] Malware infection rates ranking: 31st (not so great)
  • [FBI Data] Victim count per state of Internet crime: 35th (not great)
  • [WalletHub] State education rank: 42nd (not so great)
  • [Cyberbullying Research Center] Cyberbullying laws: 3rd (great)
  • [Mental Health America] Youth mental illness per state: 49th (very bad)

The majority of our "not so great" rankings is what led Arizona to take the title of most dangerous for kids online.


ABC15 showed this research to Shane Watson. Watson is a Prevention Specialist for NotMYKid in Scottsdale. 


He said, sadly, he is not surprised by this new research. 


"The reason that we ranked number one is our lack of availability and affordability of behavioral health resource," Watson said. "And everything, whether it's internet safety, substance abuse depression, body image... it comes down to that. That's a big key."


Watson said to start the process of getting Arizona off this list is with education.


NotMYKid offers seminars, but will separate the kids and the adults in order to address each need individually. 


Watson said parents are completely unaware of two-thirds of the apps he will go over in these seminars. He said that shows how great the need is to take action. 


He said their seminars can go everywhere and anywhere.


To request one, go online with NotMYKid or call 602-652-0163.