The Family Online Safety Institute conducted an extensive survey examining the differing attitudes of parents and children to online safety. Below are just the headline key findings from the Executive Summary. The full Executive Summary, study and presentation are available here: link. These are sobering facts but emphasize the importance of open discussion about proper behavior:
- When it comes to monitoring teens’ online activity, a substantial gap exists between how many teens say their parents monitor their online activities and their parents’ reported oversight.
- Similar to reports of online monitoring, parents also claim to be more informed about their teens’ online activities than teens believe them to be.
- Social networking and media sharing Web sites expose the greatest gaps between teens’ online activities and parents’ knowledge of these activities.
- Both teens and parents feel that teens generally are safe online.
- When it comes to specific concerns about teens’ online activity, parents and teens largely are on the same page, but attitudes differ on the hazards posed by strangers and inappropriate content.
- Teens are taking many steps to protect their privacy and information online, particularly when it comes to the use of social networking sites.
- Parents also say they are doing several things to protect their child’s safety, including many actions of which teens are unaware.
- Despite actions taken by parents and teens to protect teens online, notable proportions of teens say they have done things online that would enable a stranger to learn personal information about them.
- While teens report steps they are taking to remain safe and vigilant while online, two in five admit to posting something online that they later regretted.