I will be sharing a collection of recent internet safety research pieces. The first one shared was McAfee’s Survey Results: The Secret lives of Teens, this is the thirteenth and final installment.
The Norton Online Family Report examines children’s online behavior and experiences compared with parents’ knowledge and understanding of these. It highlights key contrasts and disconnects between parents and their children and offers advice and guidance for parents on how to bridge the gaps.
The Report finds that children are spending an increasing amount of time online, and in general parents are aware of this and have a fair idea of the main activities their children participate in online. Parents are concerned about children accessing indecent material or giving out personal information online, yet they underestimate the extent to which children download games, music and video. These are key
activities which may expose children to inappropriate content and encourage them to disclose their personal details.
The perceived need for parents to control children’s online activities varies hugely. In Canada and the US, six in 10 adults think parents should have full control over everything their child does online. In Italy and China, however, parents are more likely to believe in empowering their children to make the right decisions.
One of the most surprising insights from the Report is parents’ lack of awareness about the extent of children’s negative experiences online. Almost two thirds of children have had a negative experience online, whereas only 45% of parents realize this. Children take an enormous sense of responsibility for their negative experiences online, perhaps without justification. They report feelings of anger, being upset and fear when they encounter an unpleasant situation.
The good news is that children actually want more parental involvement in their online lives. The
majority state they would like to turn to their parents for support and advice when things go wrong.
Children understand that ethical behavior is as important online as it is offline and are setting their
own rules for acceptable online behavior. Children’s own rules include not bullying or harassing people online, not passing on embarrassing photos or posts about others, telling parents if they or others are being bullied, and not saying or doing things online that they wouldn’t do in an offline world.
There is clearly an important role for parents to play by increasing their understanding of the Internet, the role it plays in their children’s lives, and the experiences their children are having online. Children need ‘parenting’ online as much as they do in their offline lives, and they would welcome more parental involvement.
Click here to learn more: Norton Online Family Report Global insights into family life online