, Derry, New Hampshire

Online Extras: News to Note

June 9, 2012

Parents aren't monitoring their kids' mobile device behavior

Internet habits get more attention but mobile usage presents equal risks

Many of us who were born before the technological boom of the Internet era had limited access to information. If we wanted a peek into the larger world, only four avenues could be taken: the television, which usually had only three channels, the radio, books, and any newspapers that were available at the time.

But today's kids are facing an overload of information that's sometimes useful for school work or overall development, but sometimes the information can be harmful to their young eyes.

A recent survey conducted by Cox Communications and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, revealed that parents are learning and implementing new ways to protect their children from online safety hazards, but are still in the dark when it comes to monitoring online activity on mobile devices.

The children surveyed, who were between the ages of 10 and 13, said their parents were doing a stellar job of keeping abreast of their online viewing behavior at home. Most of the children said their parents set strict internet guidelines, and spend ample time warning them about internet dangers.

However, the children admitted their parents still haven't figured out how to monitor their online behavior when a mobile or other handheld device was used.

Usage doubles

The report goes on to say that internet use doubles every two years, and kids can now gain access through their smartphones, game consoles, tablets, or handheld games.

Over 95 percent of children use their mobile devices to access the internet, but parents typically provide safety parameters only for the home computer. One in five parents (17 percent) admitted to using parental controls for the children's mobile devices.

Although mobile devices have fewer parental controls to activate than computers, they do have some, but many parents say they're unable to use them because they're not sure how to work it.

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