Parents fear children are MORE tech savvy than them – as kids 'bypass parental controls' | The Sun

MORE than half of parents believe their kids are more digitally literate than they are – as six in 10 have bypassed the parental controls set.

The research of 2,000 parents with children aged between seven and 17 found 40 per cent of these parents realised their offspring had an advanced understanding when they knew their way around tech better than they did.

But this superior ability to navigate the digital world is a concern for 55 per cent of these parents.

Money being spent without them knowing (59 per cent), accessing inappropriate content (50 per cent) and speaking with strangers (37 per cent) rank among the top worries.

In an attempt to keep up, 42 per cent are spending time learning how to use their devices, and 39 per cent are educating themselves as much as they can about online safety.

But despite concerns, nearly one in four (23 per cent) don’t bother with parental controls, as 24 per cent of these believe their child will just evade them anyway.

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However, more than a fifth (21 per cent) of this group admit they simply do not know how to set them up properly.

The research was commissioned by Avast as part of its ‘Back to School’ campaign, which aims to educate parents to help their children safely navigate the internet – here.

Jaya Baloo, chief information security officer for the online security and antivirus software provider, said: “Parenting in 2022 is getting more complex – from a young age, children are coming into contact with the internet and a variety of devices which allow them to access it.

“We understand children also face social pressure to connect with their friends online on different, sometimes questionable social platforms, and that it is increasingly difficult for parents to keep up with technological advances and their children’s ever-growing knowledge of it.

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“Our research demonstrates parents are naturally concerned their children know more about the internet than them, but there are straightforward steps and easy to use tools that parents can use to educate themselves and ensure their children can enjoy the many positive and educational aspects the internet has to offer."

The study also found 83 per cent of children with access to the online world are allowed to use the internet unsupervised.

And, on average, age 10 is the point at which they have been allowed online without the watchful eye of mum or dad looking over their shoulder.

But some as young as five are allowed to roam freely online. 

Of these parents, 67 per cent are concerned about what they do without their supervision – however, 52 per cent admit they don’t have enough time to constantly monitor them.

And two in three have had arguments with children about what they get up to on the internet.

On average, these children have three devices which can access the internet, while nearly two-fifths (39 per cent) have four.

In fact, 57 per cent believe this array of tech can make it more difficult to protect their online safety.

It emerged 46 per cent would like more guidance about cyber security and online privacy to help keep their child as safe as possible online.

And nearly two in five of those polled via OnePoll identified easier to use privacy products would help them manage their family’s internet activity.

Marvyn Harrison, parenting influencer and founder of Dope Black Dads, said: “My children are aged four and six and are already using numerous devices that have access to the internet.

“For parents who did not grow up with a similar experience, understanding how your child uses the internet and ensuring they can navigate it safely is imperative.

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“My children’s generation have so many opportunities to create and enjoy what the world has to offer, all through the power of the internet.

“By ensuring we stay educated on the ever-evolving world of the internet and the security and privacy products on offer, as parents we can help our children to exist online as safely as possible, and give ourselves peace of mind.” 

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