Are Your Kids in Danger When They Go Online?
Are you concerned you kids might be engaging in dangerous behavior online? If so, a new study finds you're not alone.
Intel Security has released the results of "The Realities of Cyber Parenting: What Pre-teens and Teens Are Up To Online," a study that examines the online behaviors and social networking habits of "tweens" and teens.
"Our parents are telling us that their number one concern for teens and tweens is being contacted by or making plans to visit with a stranger that they meet online," said Stacey Conner, director of Global Channel Marketing at Intel Security. "The online version of the lesson we all learned as kids, don't talk to strangers, don't go with strangers."
Conner said what parents are worried about is whether those strangers have malicious intentions, "you know, are their teens and tweens meeting up with pedophiles?"
She said unfortunately, the concerns parents have about their kids are often warranted.
"What we found was that 27 percent of our teens and tweens have met or are planning to meet a stranger that they've met online," she said. "There's a false sense of security for our teens and tweens when they meet or engage with strangers online. They feel that there might be that barrier that allows them some sort of safety or comfort zone, so it really doesn't take that much for a stranger to be able to engage the teen tween set enough to get them to make plans to meet up in the real world."
The study also found that almost 90 percent of parents understand it's very important for them to understand what their teen is doing, and almost just as many tweens and teens felt the same way.
At the same time, the study shows 79 percent of kids said they really looked to their parents as almost their sole provider of education when it comes to social media and technology.
The survey also found 94 percent of parents believe they know what their kids are doing online, while 52 percent are comfortable if their children are friends with adults on social media. Of this group, 93 percent approve if the person is a relative or someone they know, but only 56 percent said they would permit their kids to be friends with a teacher.