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Parents use Facebook to keep tabs on teens

10:30 Thu Apr 19 2012
AAP
Mothers in New Zealand are keeping tabs on their teens by accessing their Facebook account without their consent
Mothers in New Zealand are keeping tabs on their teens by accessing their Facebook account without their consent

Mothers in New Zealand are keeping tabs on their teens by accessing their Facebook account without their consent, a global study has revealed.

A survey by AVG’s Digital Diaries questioned 4,400 parents with 14-17 year olds in 11 countries, including 407 New Zealanders.

More than a third of parents were concerned that their teen’s behaviour on social media sites could affect their future job prospects and 26 per cent of the parents surveyed had seen explicit or abusive messages on their teen’s social networking profile. Security Advisor at AVG, Michael McKinnon said the latest research makes him wonder whether Facebook and other social networking sites are creating a new kind of parental relationship, or if it was just a new way for parents to spy on their teens.

“These sites are providing parents with new methods to monitor what their kids are doing without necessarily having to be ‘heavy handed’ or to quiz their child directly,” he said.

Nearly a quarter of the New Zealand parents surveyed thought their child’s school was failing to educate their child about using the internet responsibly and nearly one fifth of New Zealand parents suspect their teen of accessing pornography; both mirroring the feelings suspicions of parents around the globe.

However, New Zealand parents appear to be more trusting than their international counterparts.

UK parents were the most likely to suspect their teens of ‘sexting’ but less than a fifth of New Zealand parents surveyed were concerned about that.

Spanish parents (45 per cent) are most suspicious their teens are illegally downloading music, whereas just 27 per cent of New Zealand parents have this suspicion.

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