Kids Still Want Mum and Dad Online

Nortons latest Online Family Report has found that kids still like their parents around when something bad happens, even if it is on line.

Nortons latest Online Family Report has found that kids still like their parents around when something bad happens, even if it is on line.

In a study that covered almost 10,000 kids and adults, the Norton report found that seven in 10 kids would turn to their parents if something bad happened to them in Cyberspace. And the good news for parents wanting to get closer to their kids doesn’t end there. In 2008 kids reported that they spent up to 10 times longer on the internet than their parents realised, while the latest report shows that time has shrunk to twice as much.

However, there was still a worrying 25 percent of kids in Australia who claimed their parents had no idea what they did online. While this is not necessarily a bad thing (you can’t automatically assume the worse), there is a lot more exposure to some of the more unsavoury elements of society. Also kids claimed they were spending 10 percent more time online per month than last year.

According to Editor and Co-Director Anne Collier, who collaborated with Norton on the study: “This report provides a rare glimpse into the online lives of young people in many countries, in their own words. Not only does it send a clear message that the online safety and security issues around parenting are universal, it offers insights and information that can empower parents worldwide to help kids use the Internet safely and keep family communication about technology open and ongoing, the number-one Net-safety best practice at home, school, and everywhere.”

Another negative was that only 48 percent in Australian parents realise their kids were having negative experiences. While parents are generally aware of the activities kids participate in online, they underestimate the extent to which kids download music and videos, activities in which kids may be exposed to inappropriate content and encouraged to disclose personal details.

Kids are feeling the powerful emotional impact of negative online experiences. Children are most likely to feel angry (47 percent), upset (56 percent), afraid (40 percent) and fearful/worried (37 percent) as a result of such an incident. One-fifth of kids worldwide regret something they’ve done online. Further, kids feel some personal responsibility for these negative experiences, especially downloading a virus or being scammed.

But, back to the good news. In addition to relying on their parents if something bad happened online, nearly nine in 10 report they follow family rules for Internet use. Most kids say they have online manners: nearly eight in 10 say they don’t bully and aren’t mean to others online, over six in 10 say they don’t harass or stalk others online, and nearly six in 10 refrain from passing on embarrassing photos or posts about others. More than half wouldn’t do or say anything online that they wouldn’t do or say off-line.