Safer Internet Day Survey of Parental Attitudes

A new survey into parent’s attitudes to their children’s use of the internet has found that 86% of Irish parents think using the internet is an important part of their child’s education.
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A new survey into parent’s attitudes to their children’s use of the internet has found that 86% of Irish parents think using the internet is an important part of their child’s education. The findings of this survey, which was conducted by the National Parents Council Primary and the National Centre for Technology in Education, were announced today to mark Safer Internet Day 2012, which is part of a global drive to promote a safer internet for all users, especially young people.


The survey found the following:

• The risk that most parents (83%) said they were very concerned about was their child seeing inappropriate content on the internet
• 86% do not think it’s okay for an 11 year old child to use Facebook without their parent’s permission
• 55% of all parents regularly check what their child is doing online by viewing browser history files, emails and other records. 74% of parents with teenage children do this
• 86% of Irish parents think using the internet is important for their child’s education
• They also felt that the benefits of the internet were outweighed by the risks (31%:35%). This was most pronounced with parents of younger children (aged younger than 9 years) where 46% thought that the risks outweigh the benefits and only 30% felt the contrary.
• There was an almost 50:50 split between parents who said they trusted their child to use the internet safely versus those who didn’t. Parents of teens were more likely to express trust at 51.9%, parents of tweens at 46.1% and parents of children under 9 years old at 28.2%
• 74% disagree that their child knows more about the internet then they do
• 86% do not think it’s okay for an 11 year old child to use Facebook without their parent’s permission

Concerns

• The risk that most parents (83%) said they were very concerned about was their child seeing inappropriate content on the internet
• 65% were concerned about giving out personal details to strangers
• 60% were concerned about their child being exposed to video game content
• 59% were concerned about their child being bullied online

Mediation

• Almost all parents surveyed (97%) have some form of rules or restrictions in place governing their child’s usage of the internet. The most common measure in place is to restrict access to the internet from a public space in the home – e.g. the living room, not their bedroom
• Over two-thirds (67%) of parents surveyed said that they were confident that they could monitor what their child does online
• Two-thirds (67.8%) also restrict the length of time their children can spend online
• Most (67%) also disagree with the contention that it is easy for their child to use the internet without them knowing
• Parent’s who have teenage children were significantly more likely to talk regularly with their children about what they do online (76.6% parents of teens; 62.6% all parents)

Download the full PDF report here.

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