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article imageMost moms credit technology with positive impact to family life

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By KJ Mullins     Aug 14, 2010 in Technology
A survey by Parenting Magazine and BlogHer has found that when it comes to technology today's mom sees it as a positive for the family from staying connected to the kids to giving ideas on how to spend time together.
Monitoring their children is one way mothers use new technology. The survey published in the September issue of Parenting Magazine found that 88 per cent of the 1,032 moms surveyed monitor what their kids are doing and most use parental controls. Most kids know that their moms are keeping an eye on them.
Today's kids are very likely to have mom saying that they have a certain amount of time on the computer and where they surf is allowed within the controls that have been pre-set.
While moms do know that there are threats out there most don't see it happening to their kids. Only 5 percent believe that their kid engages in addictive online behaviour like excessive gaming, fewer (4%) think that their kid has seen out porn online and a mere 1 percent think that their kid has been involved with cyber-bullying, sexting or inappropriate online communication with adults.
"The results of this survey were very encouraging," said Nancy Hallberg, chief strategy officer of The Parenting Group in a press release. "Today's moms are not fearful of technology and its growing role in their family's lives – they view it not only as a tool to connect with other moms, but as a way to communicate with their children and teach them responsible ways to interact online. This mindset provides marketers and content developers with an enormous opportunity to help educate moms about the ways to use technology to their advantage as parents."
While the moms are confident that their kids are safe from some of the dangers online they may be wrong.
79% of youth unwanted exposure to pornography occurs in the home according to Enough.org. Over half of the world-wide child porn domains are housed in the United States.
In the United States alone there are over 644,000 registered sex offenders. When sexual predators go on the web they generally let kids know that they are adults. In 73 percent of crimes involving youth and offenders the youth went to meet the offender on multiple occasions.
Teens are savvy when it comes to their internet use. Almost half of teen users clear their history to hide where they surf from their parents. Often teens close or minimize their browser when they hear footsteps coming. Eleven percent have admitted to unlocking those parental controls.
Over half of teens have given out personal information online. Girls are more likely to share photos or descriptions of themselves than boys.
Twenty percent of teens have engaged in cyber-bulling.
About a quarter of teens would give betrayed by their parents if they knew that their parents were checking their online activity.
Almost all Canadian male students aged 13 to 14 and 70% of girls in the same age group have viewed porn online at least once.
While parents can have protections in place they need to be aware that teens are likely to break the rules at some point. Letting your kids know that you are aware of the dangers and warning them often of those dangers tend to have kids who are more concerned about sharing personal info than kids whose parents aren't as involved. The kids with involved parents are less likely to meet someone face to face with those meet on the internet.
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