Nathan Hager, wtop.com
WASHINGTON — “It’s 10 o’clock. Do you know where your children are?”
Thanks to the Internet, that familiar question from old TV public service announcements is even more dated.
The threats of cyberbullying, online predators and oversharing on social networks have made keeping an eye on kids a 24/7 operation for parents.
A new Teen Internet Behavior Study by cybersecurity firm McAfee may reveal a disconnect between what kids are up to online, and what their parents know about it.
Among the study’s findings:
McAfee recommends that parents have an ongoing conversation with kids about their safety online, starting well before they reach their teen years.
“As the kids get older, and as they prove their responsibility, you start to ease up on the level of control, just like you do every other aspect of parenting,” says Michelle Dennedy, chief privacy officer at McAfee.
Controls may include limiting the types of websites kids may view, enabling location tracking on their smartphones and setting rules on how much information kids can share on social networks, Dennedy says.
“This is a wakeup call for parents,” she says. “Don’t let there be a digital divide. It’s in your hands.”
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)