June 7, 2012 3:28 am
Parents used to only have to worry about monitoring the home computer to keep their kids safer online. But today, Internet use is doubling every two years, and kids have access to the Internet through mobile devices, such as smartphones, handheld games, game consoles and tablets. The average family uses five Internet-enabled devices at home.
The Tween Internet Safety Survey, commissioned by Cox Communications in partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), found that nearly all tweens (95 percent) use mobile devices to go online.
Mobile devices and gaming consoles are widely used by tweens to access Web content, and the survey revealed a lack of guidelines and controls on these devices that can leave tweens vulnerable. While 68 percent of parents surveyed said they monitored their child's Internet behavior on mobile devices, the survey showed that only 1 in 5 (17 percent) actually use basic parental control features such as age appropriate Web content filtering on smartphones, tablets and game consoles.
Parents and tweens acknowledged that fewer controls exist on mobile devices and gaming consoles than on computers. The survey revealed that many parents are not using the monitoring software and parental control tools available on their tweens' mobile devices because they are not familiar with how they work.
- 83 percent of tweens use a gaming console to access the Internet at home.
- 51 percent of the parents in the survey said they monitor their child's Internet behavior on gaming consoles.
- 65 percent of parents said they were aware of and knew how to use parental controls on mobile devices and gaming consoles with Internet access.
- 82 percent of parents surveyed considered themselves very knowledgeable about what their tween does online, and for the most part, believed their tween practices safe online behavior.
- However, many of the tweens surveyed admitted to engaging in risky online behavior, including breaking the rules, accessing inappropriate content, and covering their tracks as they go; often unbeknownst to parents.
- 44 percent admitted they've looked at or watched something online that their parents wouldn't approve of. (Only 28 percent of parents were aware of this.)
- 34 percent have lied to parents about what they've done online. (Only 18 percent of parents were aware of this.)
- 42 percent have received a personal message from someone they didn't know. (Only 22 percent of parents were aware of this.)
- 17 percent have received an email or online message with pictures or words that made them feel uncomfortable. (Only 7 percent of parents were aware of this.)
- 12 percent have already been bullied by someone online. (Only 6 percent of parents were aware of this.)
Published with permission from RISMedia.