A new study shows parents are mostly clueless about what their kids are doing online. The survey of about 800 teens and the same number of parents found a large divide between what parents think they know and what teens admit to doing online.
“I have a lot of friends with teenagers and they are shocked to find out their teen was texting somebody inappropriately using an app their friends had never heard of,” said Jessie Walker, a mother of two teens, herself.
She says she’s not surprised to hear about a National Cyber Alliance survey that finds 57% of parents admit they are not aware of what their kids are doing online.
Walker has her own scary stories.
“This person had messaged my son asking for his Skype information which I had told my son is just like a telephone number, you don’t give that out, so that was scary but luckily we stopped it before anything could happen.”
Another big concern the survey finds is that 60 percent of teens admit to having an online account their parents don’t know about. Only 28 percent of parents even suspect that.
“I think it’s important to be respectful of their teen and their online habits, but also being honest and upfront in letting them know that you are going to be watching, you are going to be using those apps and those programs that allow you to be able to go in and see what exactly it is that they are doing,” said Katie Freseman, a web content expert with USC Upstate.
Apps That Can Help:
The app mSpy allows you to monitor who your teen calls, contacts, texts, apps and GPS.
PhoneSherriff allows you to set time limits on your teens device.
And Mobicip blocks inappropriate content.
Feel like a snoop? Walker says when you’re raising a teen, safety must come before privacy.
“As my kids get older, we do worry about that because they are going to get sneakier and a little bit smarter. Right now they’re horrible liars, she said laughing.