Confirmed: Your Web-Savvy Kids Are Outsmarting Your Parental Controls

A new report shows children are outsmarting their parents online, and they definitely know how to bypass parental controls.

Think you're keeping track of your 13-year-old's online habits? A new study suggests they may be outsmarting you every step of the way.

The Ofcom Report on Internet safety measures validated every parent's worst fear about their child's online behavior: Children know more about navigating the Internet than their parents do. That means all those filters and parental controls were probably set up in vain. Indeed, researchers found that 18% of kids know how to disable Internet filters, even if only 6% of them actually admitted to doing so.

Nearly half of adolescents between the ages 12 to 15 know how to delete their browsing history, while 29% can alter settings to disguise their browser activity. As children become more aware that their parents are invested in seeing the sites they visit, they become more adept at hiding their tracks.

Still, it's not as though parents are unaware of their digital inferiority. "Almost half (44%) of parents with children aged between eight and 11 say their child knows more about the internet than they do. That rises to 63% for parents of 12-15-year-olds," the BBC said.

An Australian study unearthed similar findings back in 2012. Their study found that 59% of children admitted to having ways of hiding what they do online, according to News.com.au.

Just as children acquire language at a very early age, it should come as no surprise that as younger generations become computer literate earlier in life, they're able to outsmart their parents, who likely first experienced modern computing in their teenage years, if not later.

[Image: Flickr user Tom Newby]

Article Tags: childrenInternet Filter

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  • Joel Campos

    This is why parental controls was a bad idea,kids need to be kept happy.

  • What ever happened to parents having a real relationship with their kids where they talked through situations and had respect for one another boundaries rather than having to set up programs to monitor your kids? If families were more engaged they wouldn't be sitting on the computer as much.

  • I know what you mean. The last 5000 years have just flown by, haven't they? This has NOTHING to do with being more engaged. Do you really think you are the only influence on your children? Do they really listen to every word you say and do everything they are told? Children will be curious and they like a challenge. Long before the internet, children were sneaky food to their bedrooms, reading under the covers and climbing out of their bedroom windows in defiance. Thank goodness now they prefer to be online while they're hiding in their bedrooms. All I have to do is unplug the wifi!

  • John Leavitt

    Hah are you kidding, my brother and I destroyed Net Nanny when I was only 9 years old.