Parents Have No Idea What Kids Do Online


How much do parents know about their kids’ Internet activity? Not much, according to a new study from McAfee that shows parents really don’t know what their kids are up to online. What’s even more telling is that 46% of youth acknowledged they would change their behavior if they knew their parents were paying attention. Parents, however, are far from paying attention. In fact, the study says 74% of parents surveyed don’t keep up with their kids’ online behavior and hope for the best. There are a few parents though who do take advantage of password protection of sites and apps, but kids most often take advantage of their parents’ lack of tech knowledge. Almost all of the kids who had passwords set on mobile apps knew those passwords.

And then there’s the talk. The majority of parents believe they’ve had the talk to warn their kids about the dangers of the Internet, although only 41% of their children feel the same. McAfee points out that “while it is not necessarily surprising that teens are rebelling online and hiding activity from their parents, what is concerning is the kinds of behaviors they are engaging in and that it extends to tweens.” About 85% of tweens between the ages of 10 and 12 said they had a Facebook account despite the site’s requirement users be 13 or older. And they post email addresses, personal activities and more to the site. Of course, social networks aren’t the only trouble spot. The study also showed teens are actively searching for inappropriate content online. McAfee says the way to get around this is to increase your digital-savvy and engage in your kids’ online lives.

Maybe Mom and Dad do need Facebook accounts after all.

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