Are girls safer online than boys?

Filed under: Big Kids, Health & Safety: Babies, Media, Gadgets, That's Entertainment

At six years old, Ellie is not allowed to get online by herself. I enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing exactly where she is going and what she is doing on the Internet. She's too young to chat or have a MySpace page anyway. In the meantime, she knows a little bit about the dangers to be found in cyberspace and by the time she's old enough to go out there on her own, she will be well informed.

According to two Australian surveys, the fact that she is a girl may bode well for her future safety online. The surveys, conducted independently of each other by ninesm and NetAlert, showed that boys were more trusting of online friends while their female counterparts were likely to put trust in friends they actually knew in person. They also found that if bullied online, girls were more likely to seek the help of an adult, while boys preferred to ignored it.

The surveys also asked parents about their involvement in their children's online activities. While 80% reported checking on their children's Internet activity, only 46% of the kids said their parents set online rules.

That last part is what puzzles me. Do the majority of parents utilize checks on their kids in place of Internet rules? I am going to have to deal with online safety very soon and wonder how parents of older kids are doing it. How do you do it?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.