Fooling Ourselves

One of the points I try to emphasis on this blog and at my web site is the importance of being aware of what your kids are doing. You can't protect them without paying attention and that is a difficult thing to do for the most diligent of us. The real problem, though, arises when we fail to recognize the inherent dangers our kids face.

Consider these interesting findings from a recent Microsoft-Ipsos Reid study on the way kids use their computers online. It's not surprising that few kids really understand just how dangerous it is to share personal information. What is shocking, however is that few parents even have a clue about what their kids are up to. Consider these results from the survey:

30% of kids between the ages of 10 and 14 are online as much as ten hours a week.
11% of kids in that same age group have been asked by a stranger for personal info.
70% of kids believe that info they put online and share with friends is private.

But here's the the shocker:

72% of parents believe their kids use the internet safely.

How are kids to learn the safe way to use the computer, to protect themselves, and to avoid danger, unless we teach them? How can we teach them unless we know what they are up to. Unless, in other words, we pay attention. Unless we do, the only one's we're fooling is ourselves.

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