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article imageMost parents are not confident protecting children online

By Tim Sandle     Mar 9, 2020 in Internet
A new survey from Startpage finds that parents of children aged between 5 and 16 in the U.S. demonstrates a gap in parents’ knowledge about how much the web is watching their children. The survey also captures parents' perceptions.
The highlights from the survey are that parents have differing attitudes towards protecting their children while uses online platforms on the web, although there is a general perception that online activity carries risks. The proportion of U.S.-based parents stating they are concerned about their children’s privacy online was 98 percent.
Following this, 68 percent of parents admitted to not feeling able, or only sometimes feeling able, to control their children’s privacy online. This led to feelings of uncertainty and a lack of control. These findings are based on a survey of around 1,000 parents with school age children; the children were between the ages of five and sixteen.
There were also concerns expressed about a lack of guidance and literature, as well as the school system not providing sufficient support. In relation to this, 61 percent of parents said that they take it into their own hands to teach their children about online safety. While this can sometimes be effective, the survey also highlights that parents do not always know enough themselves with which to guide and instruct their children about online safety and data privacy.
Examples of insufficient knowledge is captured by the finding that 36 percent of parents indicated that they did not know companies could exploit their children’s data for commercial gain and a further 33 percent stated they were unaware that know companies could use their children’s digital footprint to target inappropriate adverts towards them. There was also a sizeable proportion of respondents who were uninformed about cybercriminals and the potential for such actors to sell and exchange children’s information on the dark web.
In terms of action that parents can take, this includes such a private search function, which helps to decrease a person's digital profile. Other measures include ensuring that the latest cybersecurity solutions are in place, to protect privacy and to avoid malicious codes from being downloaded from the Internet.
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