Kids Online Activities Risky

    February 14, 2008

A survey by Software Company Symantec found that the types of Internet activity children are involved in online could be more risky than their parents expect.

 The survey found that 6 percent of parents believed their children had had an online encounter with a stranger but 16 percent of U.S. children reported being contacted while online by a stranger.

When it comes to time spent online parents think their kids are using the Internet two hours a month, but kids said they are spending twenty hours a month online. Forty-one percent of teens said their parents are unaware of what sites they are visiting online. In addition 42 percent of teens have received an online request for personal information.

Time spent online by children in China is even higher than in the U.S. Chinese kids report spending 40 hours a month online, while their parents believe they are spending just 2 hours. Forty-four percent of kids in China have been approached by strangers online and 57 percent have given away personal information.

"This report clearly demonstrates a global digital divide between parents and their cyber-savvy children. We’ve always taught our children not to talk to strangers in the offline world, and now we must teach our children how to safely exist in an online world filled with strangers," said Marian Merritt, Internet Safety Advocate, Symantec.