Keeping children safe online is a primary concern of many parents that have young children or teens that access the Internet. Stories about teen bullying are cause for concern, but how safe are most kids online? According to a report from the Family Online Safety Institute titled “Parenting in the Digital Age,” most parents are confident that their kids are safe.
“Most parents (64 percent) are quite confident in their ability to keep track of their child’s technology use, but those with younger children (73 percent) express greater confidence than do parents of teens (58 percent),” the report reads. The responses of the parents surveyed seems to indicate that they are able to track their children’s activity, and that they aren’t fearful of what they see, most of the time.
Parents are also confident that the benefits of allowing children Internet access outweigh the potential harms, which include data mining, marketing and online stalkers.
Fifty-three percent of parents feel this way, while 42 percent believe the pros and cons are about equal. Only five percent believe the potential harm associated with Internet access outweigh the benefits. Overall, 93 percent of parents believe their children are at least somewhat safe online.
Parents are having conversations with their children about potential dangers they might encounter online. Ninety-four percent of parents have talked to their child at least once about the dangers and benefits, and 65 percent have regular conversations with their children about online safety.
Over half of parents have used various tools to limit what their children can do online, such as turning off in-app purchases. A smaller number — 31 percent — use more serious tools like cellphone GPS tracking. Sometimes though, over-monitoring your children online can be problematic.
For the full report, visit FOSI.org.