Parents oblivious to their children’s online activities – NZ study

A new survey states that nearly three quarters of parents in New Zealand are unaware of their children’s online activities.

A study by internet security company Norton by Symantec states that 74 per cent of the 600 parents (who had kids under 16 years of age) that interviewed are in the dark about their children’s activities on the internet.

The study also revealed that many parents are not engaging with their kids when it comes to talking about online practices that can cause harm–48 per cent of Kiwi parents who were interviewed do not discuss cyberbullying, or check their child’s online activity.

Mark Shaw, Technology Strategist at Norton, said that parents should also start talking to their kids about cyberbullying, because it is just as important as talking about keeping safe in the physical world.

“They’re interacting online via websites, apps, games and online forums at a younger age and more than ever,” Shaw said.

Mr Shaw added that parents must know what they can do to protect their kids’ online safety. “Parents need to arm their children with the knowledge and skills they need to use the Internet positively without compromising their privacy and security or that of their friends.”

Martin Cocker, Executive Director at NetSafe, advises parents to engage more in conversation with their kids–“talk through the things they’re doing, so that by the time that they’re teenagers you’re confident they know how to manage the challenges that they face.”

A 2014 study by Symantec revealed that two in five New Zealand children are harmed by cybercrime. Read more about it here.

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