Questions about Facebook and Parenting – ITRC Social Media Survey 2012

The Identity Theft Resource Center recently launched the ITRC Social Media Survey 2012 with the intent to gather as many survey responses in an effort to develop informative materials to educate consumers on the topic of children’s use of social media.  In recent years, social networking activities seem to have become the norm for our children – a way to communicate with friends, family, browse the web, gaming, etc.  Social networking has become more accessible with the use of personal computers, tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices.  Although access has become more widespread, it is not uncommon for parents to lose track of the activities their children engage in while on these networks – facebook, twitter, and other social networking sites.

Social networking for adults often times has become a nightmare as a result of privacy threats posed by those maliciously using these networks to take advantage of its users.  It becomes even more concerning when we think of our children being exposed to these same threats.  As adults, we commonly acknowledge the consequences of using social networking sites; however, our children may not be as knowledgeable – either because they may not consider it a problem, or because they have not been informed.  As parents, it is our responsibility to ensure the safety of our children’s identities and online well-being.  Parents can sometimes make their children’s experience a safer one.

Making a child’s online experience safer is the purpose behind the ITRC survey.  It is a step closer to developing material that can inform parents of the most commonly used practices, and revealing the diligence we take as parents in remaining informed on our children’s social networking activities.  As parents are we aware of the number of social media accounts our children posses?  With the increasing use of mobile devices, is it becoming harder for parents to monitor our children’s accounts? As parents, are we even concerned with the activities our children engage in, or are we even concerned with protecting our children’s online identities?  These questions appear to be common logic ones, however, because of their simplicity as parents we may often overlook the serious message they present.

The ITRC survey is a very brief and short multiple choice questionnaire.  It literally takes five minutes to complete.  Although it is a short survey it proves a great way for parents to test their knowledge on their children’s social media/ phone usage habits.  It will also open our eyes to see if, as parents, we are taking some of the appropriate steps we should to ensure that these usage habits are not putting our children in any form of online danger.  Parents with children in the age range of 6 to 17 are encouraged to take the survey.  Their responses can help create awareness to the practices that may be necessary to ensure our children’s online safety – especially when it comes to the ever growing usage of social media sites by our children.  It truly becomes a concern when our children begin to socially network at a younger age, and via multiple mobile outlets that give them 24-hour access.

To complete the survey, and enter to win $100.00, just visit the ITRC’s website and click on the Do You Have Children Who Use Social Media? link or click here to take the survey directly. The survey will run through May 31, 2012.  Five $100 prize winners will be announced and contacted on June 1, 2012.  The survey results will be released on the ITRC website shortly thereafter.

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