In a new national survey of parents with kids ages 18 and under released today by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and conducted by Zogby International, approximately 75% of parents report they are either ‘very confident’ or ‘somewhat confident’ that their children know how to stay safe on the internet, but aren’t really monitoring usage on internet-connected devices other than the PC.
A full 86% said they monitor what their children are doing online. However, parental monitoring of online activity is largely confined to just two devices, with 82% of parents reporting they most often monitor their child’s personal computer or laptop. In stark contrast to other devices, less than 1% of parents prioritize cell phones or gaming consoles as the devices that they most often check to see how their kids are using the onternet, the NCSA survey revealed.
An April 2010 study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 75% of 12- to 17-year-olds today have their own phones, often using the phone’s network access to visit websites, text, and send instant messages to friends. As for video games, more than 31% of the parents in the NCSA survey reported that their kids will spend most of their online time this summer playing video games. In contrast, less than 1% of parents plan to make monitoring the gaming console a top priority. Fully 97% of 12- to 17-year-olds play computer, web, portable and console games – games that often require an internet connection to interact with other players, found a separate Pew study.
Approximately 25% of parents reported their kids would most likely be visiting social networking sites, and nearly 16% said their kids would be watching videos online this summer.
NCSA’s website, http://staysafeonline.org/, offers onternet safety and security tips for parents and their children, with advice on how to tackle many of the issues uncovered by the survey, including smart phones and online gaming safety.
The Zogby survey was conducted between June 4 and 7, 2010, with a sample size of 580 US parents with children ages 18 or younger. The margin of error is +/- 4.2 %.