Facebook Parents Spy On Offspring: Survey Reveals

Social media sites like Facebook allow us all access to the thoughts and lives of our nearest and dearest. When you add a friend the first thing you do is to checkout what they have been up to, who they have as a friend and look at their photo albums. Its human nature to be interested in what others are doing and Facebook gives us the tools to do so.

But there is another side to the networking giant that we have reported on before, and that is the inclusion of kids to the site. Now while there is an age limit, as we mentioned before a large majority of underage joiners are logging on. This can cause concern to parents that lose their children to a sea of Facebook technology.

As PC Advisor reports, some parents find that the only way that they can keep a check on the offspring’s actions is by snooping on their network site. Bullguard security found that 55 percent of parents stated that regularly keeping tabs is the only way that they know what their children are up to. Further research discovered that another 5 percent would access their child’s social media site if they knew how.

Part of the findings showed that 4 out of 10 checked the child’s status updates and another 39 percent said that they look at the messages left and sent on the youngsters Facebook wall. Images are another area that come under the watchful eye of the parent, seeing who has tagged and who has been tagged accounted for 29 percent of the survey.

Is this social media snooping taking away children’s freedom or is it a necessity that comes as part of our parental responsibility? The majority of the parents claimed that they only checked up on the kids to see who they were mixing with. Some concerned adults chose to try and ‘friend’ their children in order to keep tabs but 30 percent had their request rejected. While there are a few that may know their kids log in details, 13 percent tried to access via a friend’s account and 11 percent have set up a spurious Facebook account purely for spying purposes.

Of course its not just the social media sites that parents are trying to keep a check on, over three quarters claimed that they regularly check the browser history in order to see what sites are being accessed. Message and sent emails are another area where four out of ten parents showed their concern for unsuitable websites, while 14 percent confirmed that they were just being nosy.

As internet security expert Claus Villumsen states, “It certainly seems as though parents are taking advantage of the trail of information left by web use in order to check up on their kids” he added, “These figures are initially quite surprising, but since certain malicious third parties have been known to prey on unsuspecting or over-trusting individuals online, it does seem as though many could have legitimate concerns.”

In a world where parents are becoming more and more protective over their offspring, is the inclusion of social media sites into our children’s lives another avenue where we should show so much concern. Facebook strives to protect against problems but do you think that more could be done to put our minds at rest?