We’ve covered the subject of children’s usage of the Internet quite a bit already, as understandably it’s a subject of concern to parents.
Last year, a survey found that three-quarters of parents are spying on their kids online activities, despite another report suggesting that parents are failing to monitor their kids’ online habits.
Well, if the latest survey is to be believed, kids are still running rife on the Internet with their parents nearly clueless about what’s going on.
Bit black and white, eh, but then this was commissioned by a security software company (Symantec) so you might expect them to be pushing the virtues of their PC monitoring software.
In any case, their survey found that although three-quarters of parents are talking to their children about staying safe online, kids may still be bending the rules.
When questioned on how much time their children were spending online, parents answered with an average of 18.8 hours per month. In fact, the data suggests that kids are online for over twice that amount – 43.5 hours per month.
More worrying than simply how much time kids were spending online was that, when questioned, one in five said that they had looked at content on the Internet they knew their parents wouldn’t approve of.
“Having an open discussion with your children is something we really encourage,” said Marian Merritt, Symantec’s Internet Safety Advocate. “It’s not about coming down hard on them when they encounter inappropriate content, as the Internet is a great place to learn and to play, but there have to be boundaries. Kids in the UK are pretty Internet savvy, and parents need to keep up. We are encouraged by what we’re seeing, but there’s still work to be done by parents.”
Other interesting statistics from the survey included:
- 93% agree it’s their responsibility to protect kids online.
- 54% have set parental controls on web usage – the highest percentage globally bar India at 55%.
- 81% are confident they know what their children are looking at online.
- 31% of UK kids say their parents don’t know what they view online.
- 65% of UK parents feel very or extremely knowledgeable about discussing whether and when to share personal information on the Internet with their children.
- 16% of parents prefer to chat about sensitive subjects online rather than face-to-face.
There’s a load more information at the Norton Online Living web site.