How much do you trust your children online? According to computer security company AVG, most parents go by the Ronald Reagan adage of "trust, but verify": Approximately 61% of U.S. parents secretly spy on their children via Facebook.
The study of 4,400 parents shows that mothers and fathers in the U.S. are becoming increasingly aware of their childrens' online presence. Approximately 72% of parents in the U.S. are "friends" with their teenagers, and six out of ten admit to spying on their kids without their knowledge. Pushing matters even further are the 44% of parents who admit to secretly accessing their teen's account. Don't feel too badly if you fall into the spying category, though. It turns out that parents do have good reason to worry— 21% of parents have found abusive or explicit messages on their teen's social profile. Another 14% found similar abusive messages on their teen's phone.
It turns out that if you wait until your children turn 13, you may be missing out on a large portion of their online social activity. A full 58% of children aged 10 to 13 are active on an online social network such as Facebook or Twitter. And more than half of children aged six to nine have a presence on an online social network for kids (such as Club Penguin or WebKinz), with 14% having an account on Facebook despite it being against site rules for them to do so.
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