Survey: Parents Need Help Monitoriting Kids' Smartphone Surfing

Cox Communications-backed survey finds only 17% of parents use parental control features on mobile devices
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Cox Communications will be trying to educate parents better about their kids' use of smartphones to access the Internet, something a new survey shows they need some help with.

The company Wednesday released the results of a survey of kids 10-13 that showed parents are monitoring their kids' online behavior on home computers, including setting limits and providing guidelines, but are not doing as good a job when it comes to mobile devices.

The Tween Internet Safety Survey study, a coproduction of Cox and the National Center for Mission and Exploited Children, found that 95% of kids use their phones and game consoles to surf the Web. While 68% of parents said they monitored their kid's Internet behavior on mobile devices, only 17% said they used parental control features on smartphones.

There is also a disconnect between what the kids are doing and what the parents think they are doing. Forty-four percent of the kids surveyed admitted they had watched something online their parents would not approve of, while only 28% of parents knew that was happening. A third (33%) of kids said they had lied to their parents about what they had done online, while only 18% of parents were clued in to that behavior.

In addition, 42% of the kids said they had gotten a personal message from someone online, while only 22% of parents were aware of that.

To raise awareness about mobile Internet use monitoring, Cox was hosting a Facebook chat with child activist and longtime America's Most Wanted host John Walsh Wednesday (June 6), as well as hosting a series of events in June (National Internet Safety Month), including a satellite media tour. Cox is also producing PSAs directing kids to take charge of their kids' online safety and directing them to Cox's child online safety Website.

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