A new study released by the Center for Cyber Safety and Education revealed that most parents of elementary and middle school students in the U.S. are not aware of the risks their kids are taking online. The Children’s Internet Usage Study compared the self-reported online behaviors of kids in grades 4-8 with their parents’ perceptions of their behavior.
About 18 million teens in the U.S. have Internet access. The study found that kids visit sites their parents wouldn’t approve of and engage with strangers online and offline more frequently than their parents know. Key findings from the study include:
- 40 percent of kids surveyed said they connected with or chatted online with a stranger.
- 15 percent tried to meet with a stranger they first encountered online.
- 11 percent actually met a stranger in their home, the stranger’s home, a park, mall or restaurant — often accompanied by a friend.