Half of mothers in New Zealand are keeping tabs on their teen by accessing their Facebook account without their consent, a global study has revealed.
Digital Coming of Age, the fifth instalment of AVG's Digital Diaries study, features responses to AVG's questions to 4,400 parents with 14-17 year olds in 11 countries, including New Zealand.
It also found that more than a third of parents were concerned that their teen's interaction with social media sites could affect their future job prospects (37%), particularly since a quarter of the parents surveyed have seen explicit or abusive messages on their teen's social networking profile (26%).
Michael McKinnon, Security Advisor at AVG (AU/NZ) Pty Ltd, said, "AVG's latest research encourages us to consider whether Facebook and other social networking sites are creating a new kind of parental relationship, or whether we are in effect spying on our 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."
Interestingly, Digital Coming of Age also unearths that 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; mirroring the feelings of parents around the globe.
Other key findings from the Digital Coming of Age include:
- UK parents are most likely to suspect teens of 'sexting' - nearly one quarter (23%) of UK parents suspect their kids of sexting. Less than a fifth of New Zealand parents surveyed (17%) suspected their teens of text sex.
- Spanish parents (45%) are most suspicious their teens are illegally downloading music - New Zealand parents appear more trusting, with just over a quarter (27%) suspecting their teenager of illegal downloads. UK parents suspected a similar amount (28%), however, UK teens could even face up to ten years in jail for illegal downloads, as a result of Britain signing the disputed <a href="http://www.actaactionnow.org/index.html">Anti-Countering Trade Agreement</a> (ACTA) bill.
- Just under half of parents surveyed are concerned their teens mobile photos are geo-tagged.
- Nearly one fifth of New Zealand parents expect their teen of accessing pornography - Of parents surveyed globally, 26 per cent suspected their teenage son of accessing pornography, while less than half that (12%) suspected their teenage daughter.
- Over one quarter of New Zealand parents have seen explicit or abusive messages on their offspring's social networks - compared with one fifth of UK and US parents.
- Parents 'friending' teens on Facebook - over half of New Zealand parents (60%) are connected with their teens on Facebook, compared with United States (72%), Canada (66 %), Italy (66%), Spain (64%), UK (51%), Australia (57%), Germany (51%), Czech Republic (50%), France (32%) and Japan (10%).
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