Research from ConsumerChoices.co.uk has revealed that 84% of parents polled across the UK said that they rate verbal agreement with their children on safe Internet usage as their primary means of monitoring online activity.
Meanwhile recent government research estimated that one in four children have put themselves in potential danger by secretly meeting strangers they had contacted online:
Our research shows that the top four ways parents monitor their child’s online activity are:
A verbal agreement to use the Internet safely (84 per cent)
The use of parental control software such as McAfee and Norton (63 per cent)
Restricting the amount of time children spend online (62 per cent)
Manually checking the computer to see what they have been doing online (59 per cent)
The poll also asked children aged 11-16 what they had actually been doing online during the school holidays. The top three activities were:
Downloading music and photos (48 per cent)
Joining in with chat rooms and making new friends online (45 per cent)
Using social networking sites such as MySpace, Bebo and Facebook (40 per cent)
Thankfully the study also suggests several ways in which you can better protect your offspring. Installing parental control software, education, moving the family PC into a living room, using anti-virus/firewall software and monitoring downloads are all proposed.
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