Parents More Concerned About Online Safety Than Technology Use

In Common Sense Media’s recent survey on Tween/Teen Media Use, parents said they are more concerned about what their kids are watching rather than the amount of time spent on it. Now, a new report from the Family Online Safety Institute agrees, stating that parents are more concerned about safety and privacy than the actual use of the technology. In fact, 87% of parents say they have rules for their children’s technology use in place, including what sites they can access (79%), what accounts they can have (77%) and what they can post online (75%).

  • Parents believe that technology use has a positive effect on many areas of their child’s life, most notably on their child’s technology skills (92% positive effect), their child’s ability to do research (89%), and his or her future, career, and life skills (78%).
  • They do, though, believe that technology use can have a negative effect on physical health.
  • Eighty-one percent of parents think they know a lot or most of what their children do when using technology or going online.
  • Sixty-five percent of parents believe they know more about technology and online activities than their child does.
  • The average age at which parents say their child has received a smartphone is 11.9 and a feature phone at 10.8 years. On average, parents permit their children to get a social media account at age 11.7.
  • Three in four parents (75%) have taken away or limited their child’s access to technology, social media, or the Internet as a consequence or punishment for their child’s online and offline behavior.

“Parents recognize and value the positive impact that technology and the Internet can have on their child’s future, creativity, communications skills and education,” said Stephen Balkam, founder and CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute, in a press release. “Technology’s opportunities also require recognition of its challenges, however, and more parents need to be aware of the available resources and tools that will enable good digital parenting and keep our kids safe online.”

Read Parents, Privacy, & Technology Use from the Family Online Safety Institute.


Data & Privacy
Digital Issues