Over A Third Of Parents Do Not Know What Online Accounts Their Children Use

Survey also reveals one in four parents admit to being unaware of who their children interact with online

Over a third (34%) of parents are unaware of what online accounts their children are using – according to a new survey by Censuswide on behalf of International Cyber Expo and conducted amongst 600 parents across the UK. The survey also revealed over a quarter (26%) of parents admit they do not know who their children are interacting with online, highlighting a worrying lack of awareness surrounding their children’s online activity.

Further key findings:

  • Over a fifth (21%) of parents claim to know about all accounts, but they’re unable to easily access them to monitor what their children are doing and who they are interacting with.
  • 15% admitted they don’t know about all their children’s accounts as they allow them total online freedom – where almost half of these parents (46%) refer to their child of 13 years old or younger.
  • 11% of parents blame their lack of awareness on having too many accounts to keep track of.
  • 8% believe their children are dishonest about their online activity.

Other concerning online behaviours among children include:    

  • 14% of parents admit their children have bullied or trolled others, with 54% of those perpetrators being 10 years old or younger.
  • 13% have experienced cyber bullying online, with 41% of those victims being 10 years old or younger.
  • 7% have set up false profiles, with a further 7% having hacked or accessed an unauthorised account – of the latter, 49% are 10 years old or younger.

“It is challenging enough to ensure children are safe in the ‘real’ world, let alone worrying about their presence in the digital world. As threats become harder to identify online, it can be easy to fall into the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality,” comments Simon Newman, International Cyber Expo Advisory Council Member and CEO of Cyber Resilience Centre for London. “However, as we know, children can be highly susceptible and easily fall victim to dangerous and/or abusive behaviour. In some cases, they may even be groomed by online criminal groups to carry out illegal activity on their behalf. Therefore, it has never been more important for parents to take an active interest in their children’s online activity.”

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