New research shows parents spy on kids online habits

60% of parents access their child’s computer to check up on their online activities
Kerry Butters

December 8, 2011

New research from security specialists AVG has shown that parents around the world are concerned with how to protect their kids online, as more and more 10 to 13-year-olds have the same online access as adults.

The report found that most children are digital adults by the age of 11 years and are beginning to use social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

The research also found that 41% of parents allowed kids to have a PC in their bedroom and 6 in 10 accessed their child’s computer to check up on what their kids are doing online.

Parents also admitted to logging into their child’s social networks without permission in order to read messages and suchlike to make sure their kids are safe.

It was also found that half of the kids asked access social media sites on their smartphones and almost all US children use gaming consoles to connect with friends regularly.

This has led to many parents wondering if checking up on their kids without their knowledge is somehow akin to reading their personal diaries.

Whilst many parents utilise parental controls to ensure that kids can’t access various websites, this does little to protect them in the world of social networking.

A lot of parents befriend their children on sites such as Facebook, so that they can monitor what is being said online between friends.

However, in cases where cyberbullying may be taking place, or where kids might give out personal information over chat, this does little to help either.

Therefore, many parents feel that essentially spying on their child’s online activity is the only real option of policing what they do online.

Additionally, many children are more au fait with the digital world than their parents and this can lead to parental controls being disabled or kids wiping history.

In this scenario, it would seem that snooping is often the only option that parents feel they have.

Whilst this raises questions about the morality of spying on kids, there seems to be little in the way of options other than good education.

A sensible course of action for parents and those in the field of education alike would be to ensure that kids are conversant in the ways of the internet and know how to protect themselves.


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