Growing up on the internet: what children hide from their parents


We often look back and recall times when our worries were less and our lives were easier. But looking back over the past 20 years, it’s hard to say that life has become more complicated and worries much more. You don’t believe? Ask a teenager’s parents.

The technology of today, as well as our constant connection to an infinitely large world, have made the most difficult job in the world – parenting – even more difficult.

At Kaspersky Lab, we talk about this trend a lot . We also decided to research how this constant connection shapes the way the younger generation communicates and uses technology in their daily lives. This study was called  Growing Up Online .

The first part of the study showed that children hide from their parents. I am a parent myself and this study shocked me a bit.

The results of the global survey showed that 57% of those aged 8-16 hide certain aspects of their online activity from their parents (this figure drops to 53% in the age group 14-16). It is over 50% . Let’s take a closer look at this study.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is that up to 70% of parents are unaware that their children are hiding potentially harmful online activities from them. For example, this could include exposure to inappropriate content, cyberbullying or contacting the wrong people.

Although this percentage is high, not all is lost yet. 75% of the surveyed children admitted that they would feel safer if they talked to their parents about the dangers lurking on the Internet.

What can you do?

The most important thing is to educate yourself-parents and find the right tools to help children understand the dangers lurking on the Web . You should also make the children show us how to use certain pages. The point is to fulfill your role  not only in real life, but also in virtual life. These are not only talks about birds and bees, but other equally important ones.

This task must be performed with integrity: it is best for the protected child to know about the limits and the consequences of exceeding them. After all, children have to grow up and therefore learn to take responsibility for their actions. Our role as parents is to educate them why page X, Y, Z is not good for them for various reasons (privacy, explicit content, etc.).

While the survey results revealed statistics that could be a headache, they should rather act as a wake-up call for parents. They offer the opportunity to stay connected with the children and teach them what is right and wrong at the same time. This relationship is very valuable and may pay off when our grandchildren show up.