Aussie Parents OK With Kids Being On Social Networking Sites

  • Kids need privacy say parents
  • Parents friend kids on social networking sites
  • Average age of kids with smartphone is 13

Trend Micro has released the findings of its Global Consumer Technology Use and Security Study. Conducted across seven countries including Australia, Brazil, France, India, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S., the survey asked 1,419 parents on how their kids access the Internet and the steps they take to protect and educate them about staying safe online.

Overall, the survey revealed that even though parents around the world are concerned about technology’s impact on their children, they welcome what this new paradigm can offer, allowing their kids the privileges of owning smartphones and using social networks at early ages. Understanding the risks, parents surveyed say they are taking an active role in providing guidance and oversight of their children’s technology and Internet use. 

Most parents are like-minded, sharing concerns about their children’s increasing use of the Internet. Nevertheless, parents in some countries worry more than those in other countries.

Statistics include:

  • 81 per cent of Australian parents indicate that their children’s online privacy on social networking sites is important to them.
  • Only 46 per cent of Australian parents feel safe when their children are using the Internet and social networking sites.
  • The average age of children using a social networking site is 12, with 56 per cent of children owning their own online account.
  • 71 per cent of Australian parents are online friends with their children
  • The average age of Australian children using smartphones is 13; the lowest is in Brazil with an average age of 12.

Here are some tips for parents on educating their kids:

  • Help your child stick to sites that are appropriate to their age.
  • If applicable, make sure kids use strong passwords and the strongest privacy settings that still allow them flexibility.
  • Ask them to share only information that is absolutely necessary on any site or online service, and to ask you if they are not sure.
  • Advise them to connect with those they already know or are certain can be trusted.
  • Urge them to treat others with respect and to never post or share anything they wouldn’t mind being shared broadly.
  • Teach them to be wary of any offer that seems too good to be true.  Tell them to trust their instincts if something seems suspicious and tell you about it.
  • Consider not allowing your child to use a geo-location service which automatically broadcasts their physical location to others, unless it is absolutely necessary.
  • Always have up-to-date, reputable security software installed on every device you are using to connect to the Internet/social networking sites. Cybercriminals will, for the most part, be unable to harm you because good security software or service will know that the links/sites they are leading you to are malicious and won’t let you visit them.