NetSmartz is a very informative site geared towards aiding with the awareness efforts on how to better protect our kids while online. They have an excellent collection of data pertaining to how bad the situation is on the gap between parents understanding what their teens are doing online below:
Parents’ Internet Monitoring Study
A survey commissioned by Cox Communications and NCMEC3 found that
- Over half (51%) of parents either do not have or do not know if they have software on their computer(s) that monitors where their teenager(s) go online and with whom they interact.
- 42% of parents do not review the content of what their teenager(s) read and/or type in chat rooms or via Instant Messaging.
- Teenagers who Instant Message use chat lingo to communicate and parents don’t know the meanings of some of the most commonly used phrases. 57% don’t know LOL (Laughing Out Loud), 68% don’t know BRB (Be Right Back), and 92% don’t know A/S/L (Age/Sex/Location).
- 95% of parents couldn’t identify common chat room lingo that teenagers use to warn people they’re chatting with that their parents are watching. Those phrases are POS (Parent Over Shoulder) and P911 (Parent Alert).
- Nearly three out of 10 (28%) of parents don’t know or are not sure if their teens talk to strangers online.
- 30% of parents allow their teenagers to use the computer in private areas of the house such as a bedroom or a home office. Parents say they are more vigilant about where their teen(s) go online if the computer is in a public area of the household.
- 58% of parents surveyed say they review the content of what their teenager(s) read and/or type in chat rooms or via Instant Messaging; 42% do not.