Parents Not Super At Protecting Kids' Privacy

Parents are less than super when it comes to protecting their children’s privacy online, according to new research conducted by Ipsos on behalf of TRUSTe. The findings are based on a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults, including 200 who are parents of kids ages 0-13.

Overall, parents seem to understand that online privacy can be an issue even for young children, with 58% of respondents saying they are concerned about their kids’ online privacy, and 82% saying they believe it is their primary responsibility to protect their kids’ personal information. Of course, there’s plenty to worry about: 57% of parents are afraid their child will be exposed to inappropriate content online, and 43% fear their child will share information online that they will later regret.

However, 69% of U.S. parents surveyed said they have posted pictures of their children online despite their own concerns about privacy, with 35% posting pictures at least once a month. Furthermore 19% said they have bypassed rules to help their kids create profiles on social media even though they are under age 13.

They’re also not doing super when it comes to communicating about these issues with their children, as 47% said their child knew “nothing” about online privacy, and another 27% said they know “little” about it. Meanwhile only 46% believe parental controls are effective at protecting kids under age 13 online.

Last month I wrote about a new study from the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, based on a survey of 569 parents with a child or children ages 0-4, which found 68% of parents said they were worried that their own social media sharing would enable someone to learn private information about their kids, or share photos of their kids without permission. In addition, 52% worried their kids might later be embarrassed by things they shared.


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