A new study conducted by global cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab and iconKids & Youth agency, one of Europe's leading child and youth research agencies, found 44 percent of kids are able to hide potentially dangerous online activity from their parents. For kids aged eight to 10, a third of them do not inform their parents about online-related incidents. That number rises to 51 percent for kids aged 14 to 16. What's worse, the children do not just keep silent, but they take measures to hide their online activity from their parents.
What comprises risky online behavior? This infographic gives you an idea.
Many parents of "uncommunicative” children remain ignorant of what their offspring encounter online. The more dangerous the activity, the less likely parents are to find out about it. For example, 56 percent of moms and dads know nothing about the actual amount of time their child spends on the Internet, while almost 70% have no idea about illegal downloading or cyberbullying.
Children not only keep silent about forbidden online behavior, but they also take measures to bypass parental control. Every third child (30 percent) admitted to this. They use passwords on their devices that their parents do not know, they go online when grown-ups are away, and delete the history of their online activities. In addition, one in seven (14%) uses special programs that hide the apps they open.
Educating kids on online safety involves constant vigilance and open communication with your kids. Have regular conversations, ask questions, and show that you understand where they are coming from. Remember to also be firm in implementing your rules.
"If children think their parents are able to calmly discuss the issues they encounter, they are much more likely to confide in them. That’s why it’s very important for parents to find out more about online threats, increase their own cyber savviness and to build trust with their children in order to be a part of their lives, whether they are online or offline. Let children know that whatever happens, you are always there to listen, support and help,” states Janice Richardson, senior advisor at European Schoolnet.
Observe what your kids access in the Internet so you know what they do online. Is it more social media, online gaming, or watching videos? Then set up your security measures with those in mind, so you can have your peace of mind on whether they are being responsible in their Internet use even when you're not around.