A new study by Microsoft (MSFT) is showing that teenage kids may not be too happy with what their parents are sharing online. Kids suggest that their parents are sharing too much about them on their social networking sites to such an extent that it becomes a cause of concern.
An international study reveals new patterns
Microsoft conducted the study in 25 countries including the UK, the US, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia, France, India, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Germany, Italy, and South Africa. 42% of the teens surveyed said that they had issues because of their parents’ social media sharing. Of these, social sharing is a big problem for 11% of kids while a medium issue for 14%. What is more alarming is that 66% of the teens have been exposed to at least one kind of online risk and fear that it may happen to them once again.
The new study, titled, “Civility, Safety, and Interaction Online — 2019” not just polled teens but also adults to determine their risk of exposure to 21 different types of risks they could face online. The company had conducted similar studies in 2016 and 2018 as well. The company surveyed 12,520 people this year. It has planned to release the complete dataset of this survey on February 11, which will be observed as International Safer Internet Day 2020.
Is sharenting a risk to kids?
Microsoft suggests that its study didn’t prove a direct correlation between the online behavior of parents and their kids. However, some financial experts and academic researchers believe that sharenting could be putting the online privacy of people at risk and may also potentially harm the physical safety of the kids.
It is up to the parents to share things from their own or their family’s lives. However, they should be mindful of what to share and when. Using their discretion will help ensure that they do not reveal too many details about themselves and families like- full names, addresses, maiden names of the mother and so on. While these may look like small pieces of information, they are highly personally identifiable in nature and malicious actors can use them in harmful ways. This could put the kids and the family at risk of identity theft or fraud.
The study also warns about online grooming where kids could be manipulated to make deep personal connections with malicious hackers and later be exploited financially, sexually or be dragged to terrorism.