Keeping Kids Safe Online
One thing C+R is best known for is our KidzEyes panel, which fuels our YouthBeat syndicated study. KidzEyes is unique in the kid research industry because we contact individual children directly through their own email (notifying parents), and we contact their parents separately. Most online kid research is done at a "household" level, meaning that parents are contacted, they open a link and have their children take a survey. By contacting the both the child and parent directly, we can ensure that their answers are candid and unbiased--separately.
We are able to contact children directly because we devote a great deal of resources to strictly adhere to the COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act) safety regulations. We employed this method in partnership with Cornell University and the University of California-Santa Barbara on a recently published study, Peers, Predators, and Porn: Predicting Parental Underestimation of Children's Risky Online Experiences.
This article explores several factors that may predict how accurately parents understand what is happening in their child's online experience. More specifically, it addresses how much parents really know about their children's exposure to cyberbullying (as victim or aggressor), approaches from strangers, and exposure to sexual imagery.
Its implications sound like good common sense, but it's easy for parents to let their guard down if everything seems fine with their child. The parents who are most in-tune:
- Don't have an attitude of "my child is smarter than most other kids when he or she is online"
- Generate, and encourage, open conversation with their child about the risks of the internet
- Are aware of their child's online activity (with the caveat that if they're too strict children will find a way around their rules)
At C+R, we're not just sharp researchers. We're also child advocates who take strides to keep kids safe online and help parents navigate today's kid world. If you have questions about KidzEyes or YouthBeat, please give us a call.