Study also finds 27% of Youth Would Meet or Have Met Someone in Person they First Met Online
Intel Security today released findings from a new study, “The Realities of Cyber Parenting: What Pre-teens and Teens Are Up To Online,” which examines the online behaviors and social networking habits of American pre-teens and teens ages 8 to 16 years old; the study also surveyed the concerns of parents. The 2015 research revealed that when it comes to online activity, parents are most concerned (28%) about their children unknowingly interacting with predators/pedophiles, while 21% fear them interacting with strangers in general. This concern could be warranted as 27% of teen/pre-teen respondents said they would meet or have met someone in person they first met online.
“Parents must have frequent and open conversations with their children about their online behavior as well as its risks and rewards,” said Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist at Intel Security. “This type of transparent communication may help build stronger trust between parents and children; hopefully this will encourage children to share more information about their online interactions, and, in turn, alert their parents when they encounter any suspicious activity or conversations online.”
Of the parents surveyed who use social media, about 84% follow or are connected with their children, hoping to gain access to their interactions with followers and the information they post. Ninety-four percent of parents believe they know what their children are doing online.
Protecting Personal Information
The majority of parents (89%) say it is important that their children receive online safety or cybersecurity training on how to better protect their personal information. The survey indicates that their children are following suit, as 83% of them say they are concerned about the privacy of their personal information and 79% are learning about online safety from their parents.
Fifty-five percent of preteens and teens surveyed believe that other people gaining access to their personal information is the worst activity that can happen to them online. Yet, 29% know other people’s online passwords. Of those teens who have and use other people’s passwords, 56% report they use them to see if the person is talking to an ex, while 38% say they want to see private photos and 24% want to dig up dirt on the other person.
While parents’ concerns about cyberbullying are not as high as they are regarding predators, 35% of youth indicate that they have bullied people on social media. Of those who have bullied others, 61% state it was because the person was mean to them, while 26% indicated it was because they did not like the person.
Other Study Highlights:
Posting for Likes
Everyone Loves Selfies
Adult Online Friends
Time Spent Online: Boys vs. Girls
Top 5 Cyber Parenting Tips to Help Facilitate Online Safety:
1. Connect With Your Kids. Talk casually and frequently with them about online risks, and make sure the communication lines are open. Foster discussions around relevant news stories or cases at schools.
2. Set Password Rules. To show camaraderie and trust, teens may share their social media passwords with friends or acquaintances. Friend or not, this is a dangerous practice. Put a consequence in place for breaking this critical password rule.
3. Read App Reviews. By reading app flags, age restrictions (ranks include: everyone, low maturity, medium maturity, or high maturity) and customer reviews for an app, you will be better equipped to evaluate whether an app may be suitable for your child.
4. Gain Access. Parents should have passwords for their children’s social media accounts and passcodes to their children’s devices which allow them to have full access.
5. Up Your Tech Knowledge. Stay one step ahead and take the time to research the various devices your kids use, as well as creating your own social media accounts. Staying knowledgeable about the newest and latest social networks is an important way to understand how they work and may help you determine whether your kids are on them.
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Intel Security commissioned MSI International to conduct the online survey among 1,001 children and teens ages 8 to 16 and 1,001 parents in the United States. The survey was split evenly among age and gender. The online interviews were conducted from April 28-May 12, 2015.
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