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Around the World, Parents Worry About Kids Online

Software monitoring is common

January 30, 2017 | Advertising & Marketing | Demographics

How vigilant are parents about their children's online security? A new survey suggests that almost one-quarter of parents worldwide are using software to monitor kids' online activities.

Ways in Which Parent Internet Users Worldwide Monitor When Their Children Are Online, Dec 2016 (% of respondents)

The December 2016 survey by Intel Security, which markets McAfee computer virus scanning products, didn't specify children of a particular age.

The survey found that about two out of three parents worldwide say they keep track of what their kids are doing online, either by "keeping devices in my possession," or using software, or some other method.

In the US, the single most prevalent worry among parents is actually not about what children are doing online but rather how much time they are spending in cyberspace. July 2016 data from Common Sense Media found that 47% of parents were worried about the sheer amount of time children spend online. But there was also widespread concern about kids sharing personal information. And worries about pornography and violence were common as well.

In the Intel Security survey, worry about too much time online was clearly also an issue. More than half of the parents said weekday screentime should not top two hours. Interestingly, though, a small but by no means insignificant number of parents said they didn't see the need for any limits on screen time at all.

—Alison McCarthy

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