social networks

Parental monitoring tools enabling parents to see what kids are doing online are going to be needed more than ever. An extensive study is out that says children look up things they shouldn't when the parents aren't around. This study through McAfee is a real eye-opener and goes into the deep layers of what makes parental control so difficult: Lack of time and knowledge.

Parents Not Keeping Up with What Kids Know

In the above study, it's found that many teens take advantage of parents not knowing how easy it is to guess passwords those parents set for parental controls. As well, the general lack of tech savvy by busy parents means kids are taking advantage of the situation. The most concerning is that the parents in the study thought it was impossible for their kids to learn the parental control passwords.What Kids Are Looking At Online

Of all kids studied, a stunning 57% of them look up inappropriate content online. This applies to children as young as 13 looking up sexual content. As well, many are looking up violent videos online, including on Youtube. Small percentages of the parents studied say they don't think their children would look up anything prurient when unsupervised.

Studies on Social Media

In many cases, children who aren't allowed to post on Facebook have the know-how in getting past that. This includes posting online under pseudonyms or generally finding ways to eliminate their online trail by deleting browser history. Kids are also strongly compelled to post personal information on social media without their parents' knowledge. Much of this comes with a personal feeling by the kids that social media is safer than their parents think.

In some cases, kids use lesser known social media outlets so parents don't find out. A couple of these include Tumblr and Snapchat.

The Need for Face-to-Face Talks About Online Dangers

McAfee's study shows that parents think they've given enough warnings to their kids about online safety when they clearly haven't. Barely under half of the kids in the study say that their parents took the time to educate them on Internet dangers, perhaps because parents simply don't know what's out there. Many parents in that scenario many need a crash course in how vast the Internet is now in finding inappropriate content.

In that scenario, monitoring your kids' online behavior is going to be more essential than ever. Here at UKnowKids, we've designed an app that helps you monitor your kids' activities on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Our app also allows you to keep tabs on what your kids are receiving or downloading on their smartphones, plus a location tracker.

Try uKnowKids with a pricing plan that's made for you. Let us help you become a better parent while subsequently keeping your kids safe from the ever-growing and vast dangers of the online world.

Family structures are changing. Learn how to be a good digital parent and keep your kids safe with this infographic. 

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Tim Woda
Tim Woda is an Internet safety expert, and a passionate advocate for empowering families and protecting children from today’s scariest digital dangers. Woda was on the founding team of buySAFE, an Internet trust and safety company, and he started working on child safety issues after his son was targeted by a child predator online. While his son was unharmed, the incident led Woda to kick-start uKnow.com. You can follow Tim on Twitter or on his blog.