UK Parents Concerned They're Losing Control of Their Kids Online

Parents in the UK are becoming increasingly worried about the amount of time teens are spending online and admit to having little idea of what their kids are doing when they log on. A survey released by internet security firm Trend Micro has revealed that, despite more than 50% of parents claiming not to have a clue about what's going on in their teens' digital world, only 3% of them actually monitor their kids' online behaviour.

The survey, which polled 1,000 teens and parents across the UK, also revealed that parents fear their kids are no longer using the internet to learn. 55% of parents said they wish their kids would spend more time learning than on social networks. Unsurprisingly, nearly three quarters of those surveyed said they were worried that under-18s would lose essential face-to-face and English language skills as a result. This comes at a time when text and social network-speak is the norm amongst Generation Y.

But it seems that, whilst the majority of parents do have these concerns, they don't wish to or don't know how to - enforce controls on their kids. 97% admitted they still continued to leave their kids in an uncontrolled environment.

"The best way for a parent to overcome their fears about technology and what their children are up to online is to take the time to have a look at the technology their children are using", said Will Gardner, CEO, Childnet. "Better still, get them to guide you through it. A conversation on how to keep safe and look after others online is a must."

"Social interaction online is evolving at a constant and rapid rate and the digital generation know all the tricks of the trade", said Rik Ferguson, security expert at Trend Micro. "With the summer holidays fast approaching, parents should put simple but effective measures in place to ensure their kids do not fall victim to unnecessary dangers. Parents need to become more tech savvy first before they can start educating their kids on what's right and wrong."

Top tips for protecting your kids online:
- Keep all computers in common areas.
- Agree to time limits for using the Internet and all social devices.
- Keep software security up-to-date.
- Talk with your kids about entering personal information online.
- Run a manual scan with your software security and check browser history.
- Set profiles on social networking sites to private.
- Encourage children to be respectful of others.
- Teach children to have multiple passwords that are NOT associated with names, nicknames or commonly found information over the net.
- Most importantly, keep informed about the latest outbreaks and dangers on the Internet.
- Use Trend Micro internet security 2009. The latest software has enhanced parental controls. This means that parents can better tailor controls depending on the particular family member. New functionalities include the ability to control the date and time each child can go on the Internet and also the option to specify categories of information (such as home addresses, telephone numbers, passwords, etc.) they do not wish to be sent from a computer.

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