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Kids outsmart their 'snooping' parents online everyday

London, Sat, 14 Apr 2012 ANI

London, Apr 14 (ANI): More than half of Australian children can easily outwit their parents when it comes to going online, thereby enabling them to outsmart adult restrictions.

Fifty nine percent of children have ways of hiding what they're doing online - and their parents know it, the study by internet security specialist McAfee has revealed.

Of all age groups, children are the most adept at managing their "digital footprint", or how they appear online.

"Children are far better at managing their profile controls and what their identity looks like to others," the Daily Mail quoted Associate Professor Jane Burns as saying.

In a thetelegraph.com.au survey, one in four people acknowledged that they had been left behind by their children's online knowledge and one in three were worried they weren't able to protect their children from web dangers.

Young and Well Co-operative Research Centre CEO Associate Professor Burns said that, rather than being embarrassed about asking for help, parents should embrace their children's cyber smartness.

"There is a great capacity for them to be a teacher for you," she said.

She stressed the need of building trust and rapport early as the key to being a parent in the online age.

"Young people are far more technically savvy than their parents," she said.

"The reality is, even if parents think that they have control of what their children are doing online, they are pretty savvy and eventually the shift will occur. Children will tell them to back off," she said.

She emphasised the need of parents treating Internet conversations the same way they first taught their children to cross the road or play in the park.

"The first time you do this you make sure they're with you and they're holding your hand and you explain to them why it is important," she said.

"If you've got the rapport it becomes a lot easier to ask your children to show you how they keep themselves safe - and they can teach you things as they get older," she explained.

Prof Burns further said parents trying to start a conversation with their children should understand that they saw the web in completely different ways.

"Technology is now so embedded in children's lives that they don't differentiate between online and offline worlds," she said.

"There is no distinction - you are creating relationships, full stop - and they can teach you things.

"If you've got the rapport it becomes a lot easier to ask your children to show you how they keep themselves safe - and they can teach you things as they get older," she added. (ANI)


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