Kids Still Lying to Parents About the 'Net

| 19 Mar 2009 10:15

Symantec's new report on Online Living tells us many things, but the main one is that parents often have no idea what their sneaky kids are up to.

The Online Living report took information from 12 countries, adults and kids alike, with almost 10,000 participants. To keep it simple, I'll just be looking at the differences between the UK and US.

In both the UK and the US, parents believe their kids spend, on average, 18-19 hours a week online. The big wakeup call should come from the kids, who believe they spend an average of 43 hours a week online. And 62% of the adults believe that's already too much.

The US seems to have a more practical view of the time though, with around two thirds of adults and kids saying that the kids spend much of their time online wasting time. The UKs belief is about 50/50 over wasting time and doing something constructive. This may also explain why 29% of US adults have caught their kids "doing something bad", while only 19% of UK residents have.

A positive item comes across in that 90% of the parents believe it's their responsibility to look after their kids online. Although only 2% believe they're safe to travel without a guardian of some sort present, and a frightening 25% believe the Government is responsible for looking after them online. Mistrust is rife in both countries though, with the US not trusting the Security Companies to provide a decent level of protection, and the UK not trusting the Government to look after their children. I doubt that will come as a surprise.

Parental controls does seem to be a sticking point, with the US use dwindling as the UK turns towards them more.

Overall though, it seems the UK parents are the most loved, perhaps because they're the easiest to fool over not wasting time on the net. They score top for the kids keeping in touch with their parents through text messages and for spending the most time online together

The US kids, however, are the least likely to add their folks to their social network page, but they do have a lot more e-friends. Perhaps because almost half the US parents have told their kids off for doing something stupid online?

I've only touched on the information in this report, and for once, it's actually a thoroughly interesting read. I'd advise a quick peek sometime, perhaps even with your folks.

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