Nearly half of UK parents keep tabs on teens via Facebook
Parents are keeping tabs on their teens by accessing their Facebook accounts without their consent, AVG Technologies’ latest Digital Diaries study reveals.
Digital Coming of Age, the fifth instalment of AVG’s Digital Diaries study, features responses to AVG’s questions to 4,400 parents with 14-17 year olds in 11 countries.
It found that only 30 per cent of UK parents are likely to be concerned about how their teen’s interaction with social media sites could affect their future job prospects. This was the lowest figure (excluding the Czech Republic) of all the countries surveyed.
Tony Anscombe, AVG’s Senior Security Evangelist, said, “AVG’s latest research encourages us to consider whether Facebook and other social networking sites are creating a new kind of parental relationship, or whether we are in effect spying on our teens?
These sites are providing parents with new methods to monitor what their kids are doing without necessarily having to be ‘heavy handed’ or to quiz their child directly.”
Digital Coming of Age also unearths that nearly two thirds (59 per cent) of UK parents believe schools were effective in teaching their teens to responsibly navigate the internet. This was the highest figure of all countries surveyed.
Will Gardner, CEO, ChildNet International, commented: "We know from our work in schools that children and young people are using a wide range of devices to surf the net and we also hear from many parents who are confused about how their children are getting online and what they are doing online.
One of our key messages is to encourage parents to talk with their children and young people about what they're doing online, who they're talking to and to find out whether they have any safety concerns.
It's great when families can connect online, but offline conversations are also a key part of staying safe online."
Other key findings from Digital Coming of Age include:
UK parents are most likely to suspect teens of ‘sexting’ - nearly one quarter (23 per cent ) of UK parents suspect their kids of sexting, compared with their European counterparts in Germany (9 per cent), France (10 per cent), Italy (11 per cent) and Czech Republic (13 per cent)
28 per cent % of UK parents suspect their teens are illegally downloading music - compared with Spain (45 per cent), Czech Republic (35 per cent ) France (30 per cent ), Australia and New Zealand (27 per cent ), United States (19 per cent ).
One fifth of UK parents suspect their teens of accessing pornography on their PC - in comparison to over a quarter of Spanish parents
One fifth of UK parents have seen explicit or abusive messages on their offspring’s social networks - compared with over one quarter of Australian and New Zealand parents
Parents ‘friending’ teens on Facebook. Over half of UK parents are connected with their teens on Facebook, compared with United States (72 per cent), Canada (66 per cent ), Italy (66 per cent ), Spain (64 per cent ), New Zealand (60 per cent), Australia (57 per cent ), Germany (51 per cent), Czech Republic (50 per cent), France (32 per cent) and Japan (10 per cent)
Nearly half of UK parents are worried that their teen’s mobile phones are geo-tagged
Only 30% of UK parents concerned about how their teen’s interaction with social media sites could affect their future job prospects, compared with Spain (65 per cent), Italy (57 per cent), Germany (47 per cent), France (45 per cent), Australia (42 per cent), Canada (38 per cent), New Zealand (37 per cent), Japan (33 per cent) and Czech Republic (29 per cent).
UK parents most satisfied (59%) with how schools are teaching their teens to responsibly navigate the internet, compared with Spain (54 per cent), United States (49 per cent), Australia (53 per cent), New Zealand (47 per cent), Germany (44 per cent), France (43 per cent), Canada (43 per cent), Japan (42 per cent), Italy (35 per cent) and Czech Republic (31 per cent).