Parenting & parental controls: Study

You don’t hear it a lot, but – based on a new survey from the Family Online Safety Institute – parents sound pretty savvy about their kids’ Net use and tech aids for keeping it constructive. The survey of 702 parents of kids 8-17 found that 93% have set rules or limits to monitor their kids’ use, 87% are aware of parental-control tools, and 53% have used them. Among parents who choose not to use tech controls, the most common reason is that they’re “not necessary because they have their own rules and limits in place regarding Internet use.” The rules include restricting where in the house connected devices are use (79%), limiting the amount of time kids spend online (75%), setting the time of day or night they can be online (74%), and setting time limits on cellphone use (59%). As for kids’ Net use on smartphones and game consoles, parents of kids of smartphone-based Net users “feel very knowledgeable” (32%) or “fairly knowledgeable” (23%) about protecting their kids’ safety and privacy on those devices, and it’s 35% (very knowledgeable) and 27% (fairly so) about kids’ Net use via game consoles. “The use of parental controls is highest among parents with post-graduate education, parents who use social media, and those under the age of 40,” FOSI reports. The tools (and services) mentioned to parents surveyed are “a tool or program offered by a software company, Internet service provider, a wireless company, a search engine, or videogame.” [For more detailed coverage, see an article by my ConnectSafely.org co-director, Larry Magid at the Huffington Post.]


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