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7/22/2008
01:42 PM
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Online Safety, Privacy Tops Parents' Concerns

The survey of 1,035 adults, as well as 260 pairs of parents and teens, highlighted how little parents know about their teens' activities online.

A recent survey has found that online safety and privacy rank highest among concerns of adults online.

Consumer Policy Solutions, a consulting firm that focuses on consumer interests and the marketplace, earlier this month released results of a survey that showed 56% of respondents don't think they have enough, or any, privacy online.

At the same time, 97% said that protecting their privacy is somewhat or very important. Ninety-five percent said Internet safety is somewhat or very important.

The survey of 1,035 adults, as well as 260 pairs of parents and teens, highlighted how little parents know about their teens' activities online.

RT Strategies, which conducted the survey, found that 52% of parents said they sit next to their children, or have sat next to their children, while they are online so they can monitor activity. Only 33% of teens said their parents sit next to them, or have sat next to them, while they are online.

Fifty-one percent of parents said they visit, or have visited, their teens' social networking site, but just 30% of teenagers said their parents do so.

"Nearly everyone surveyed -- younger generations, adults, and older Americans -- said privacy, protection, and security is important to them, yet they don't fully understand their own vulnerabilities," Debra Berlyn, president of Consumer Policy Solutions, said in a statement. "This survey shows that while privacy and safety are critical concerns for Internet users and their families, many engage -- either knowingly or unknowingly -- in online actions that compromise their security and privacy."

Berlyn said the findings show a need for increased consumer awareness and a need to develop ways that consumers can better protect themselves.

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