Parental Guide

Fact Sheets

Top facts parents should know about their children’s Internet use

When it comes to parenting, knowledge is power. These facts about Internet usage today will help you frame the conversations you need to have with your children about Internet usage and help inform your decisions and rules as a parent of a digital citizen

  1. Early Internet adoption
    A survey by Shared Hope International found in a survey of adults and children that one out of every eight parents let their children use the internet from as young as two years old; and that only 10% make their children wait until they are 10 years or older before using the Internet (the age recommended by experts).
  1. Online and unsupervised
    Over 71% of parents do not supervise their children’s Internet use over the age of 14; and nearly 32% of teens delete or hide their browsing history from parents. Sixteen per cent of teens have social media or email accounts that their parents don’t know about.
  1. The threat of sexual predators
    According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), 15% of 10- to 17-year olds have been approached on the Internet with sexual intent; and 26% of online sexual predators were able to discover their victim’s exact whereabouts by using information on the victim’s social networking.
  1. Social and public
    Only 62% of teens have their Facebook privacy settings set up, and 17% have all their information open to the public to view.
  1. Making friends online
    Conversations take place online with people who have never met one another in person – 16% of teenagers have considered meeting someone they have chatted to online, and 8% have actually met with a stranger in person.
  1. Explicit images
    Every one in seven teens have taken a semi-nude or nude photo of themselves; and over 50% of these have been shared with another person over the Internet.
  1. Identity theft
    Children under the age of 18 are actually 51 times more likely to have their identities stolen than adults. This is because children generally have clean credit records, and are often not as savvy when it comes to posting personal information online.