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55% of UK Parents use Facebook to Spy on their Children


online_privacy_redbuttonKids who reveal all on Facebook are in for an unpleasant surprise – it turns out that more than 50% (55%, to be precise) of parents spy on their children. OnePoll found out in a survey of 2,000 parents from Britain that parents have been using Facebook to track their kids’ activities. While this study was confined to the UK, it’s easy and probably safe to assume that the trend is pretty much the same in other countries.

This piece of data will not be welcome news to the youth of today. In fact, there might be even those who will purge their friends list the moment they learn of this survey. But give them a few more decades in life and they’ll realize that parent-spying is not necessarily a bad thing. They might even do it themselves when their own time comes and they’re rearing their own children. But then again, this can also be considered as an invasion of privacy and a breach of trust on the part of the parent. Parents justify the act as simply a result of wanting what’s best for their kids, especially since there are so many negative influences in the world today. It’s hard to simply place all your trust in an adolescent’s ability to make the right decisions. After all, those of us who have made it through adolescence can honestly say that there’s nothing we regret doing.

Morality debates aside, the results of the survey were pretty interesting. According to OnePoll, 11% of those parents who spy on their kids created a Facebook account for the sole purpose of doing just that. 4% of these parents had their children reject their request. This resulted in some parents borrowing a friend’s account so that they may spy on the kid with better access. 41% said they monitor their child’s status updates, 39% keep watchful eyes on their Facebook Wall and 29% view the pictures their child has uploaded.

It’s quite disheartening to know that parents have to resort to such methods in order to keep their children protected online. Perhaps there should be a better way to keep track of a child’s activities without going through such underhanded methods – and Facebook could have a hand at paving the way. All it would take is a few tweaks to what minors agree to when they create an account. Minor children could have their accounts permanently linked to their parent’s account in order to improve security.

To snoop or not to snoop is a decision every parent will have to make one day. Whether you do or you don’t, the most important thing is to keep the communication channels open with your child. Take the time to educate and inform them of the dangers they could face on the Internet.

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