Leading antivirus service provider McAfee recently conducted a survey that revealed what teens are really doing online; and it may be different than what parents think they are doing! While most of the parents surveyed thought they knew what their child was up to, there were rather far off the mark there.
70% Children have found a way to avoid parental monitoring online
The McAfee survey that looked at teens’ onlineactivities found that as many as 70% of teens could be hiding at least some of their online activities from their parents. 12% of parents surveyed thought that their child was likely to have accessed porn on the net.
However the real figure of kids who may have accessed porn on the net is about 32%. Whereas only 10% of parents thought that their kids were likely to have been victims of cyber bullying, real figure is over 23%.
Whereas the average parent thought that their teen was spending about 2 hours on the net each day, the average teen is spending closer to 5 hours on the net each day.
Similarly, only about 22% parents thought that their teen was on social networking sites all the time. But as many as 41% of the teen respondents said that they were on FB, Twitter and other social networking sites all the time.
Then there is the matter of illegal online activity such as piracy. One may think of downloading musicand movies as being innocuous, but this could have legal consequences for the parents – it is the parents who are likely to have subscribed for the internet connection and who are paying for it as well.
The survey revealed an overall disconnect between parents and teens when it came to internet use.
Is more surveillance the answer?
Online monitoring and surveillance of teens by their parents is an option and there are software programs that will help parents do this. But is surveillance the answer? Or should parents be more trusting of their children? According to some experts, surveillance can undermine trust.
But don’t kids need to be protected as well? There are predators, bullies and con artists out there, waiting to take advantage of your child. And isn’t it irresponsible for parents not to try and keep up with what their child is doing online?
These are some tough questions that most parents have to face up to. These can be answered in the best way possible by knowing your child well, fostering trust and building a close and loving relationshipwith them.