More than half of parents said they monitor their child’s social networking generally by looking their profile, reading messages posted on their wall, and trawling through photographs. A further five per cent said they would make such checks if they knew how and more than a tenth said they set up a Facebook account with the sole purpose of checking up on their son or daughter.
An even greater proportion of parents monitor general internet use than spy on their child’s social networking profiles, the study found. Some 76 per cent said they check internet history files for unsuitable websites.
Claus Villumsen, of the internet security firm BullGuard, which commissioned the survey of 2,000 British people, said parents were right to be protective of the children on Facebook and other social networks.
“It certainly seems as though parents are taking advantage of the trail of information left by web use in order to check up on their kids,” he said.
“These figures are initially quite surprising, but since certain malicious third parties have been known to prey on unsuspecting or over trusting individuals online, it does seem as though many could have legitimate concerns”.
The findings come in the midst of a debate over when children should be allowed to join social networks. Currently Facebook’s terms and conditions do allow not children under 13 to become members, but the website admits that many lie and successfully join.
Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg has called for the US laws behind its minimum age requirement to be scrapped.
Source: The Telegraph News