Neptune Navigate Blog

Tips for online safety, security, and responsible digital citizenship for parents, kids, and families.

Parental Generational Divides and Teaching Online Safety

December 15, 2020

According to new research conducted by the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), generational divides play a major role in how parents view the responsibility of keeping kids safe online.  It seems that younger parents view online safety with a  “we’re all in this together” attitude.  They tend to feel that it is a shared responsibility between parents, schools, and communities, as well as content creators and tech industries. 

While 30% of Millennial parents and 43% of Gen X parents believe that the majority of the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the parents, that statistic increases to 57% when describing Baby Boomer parents.  But the differences do not end there.  It is also reflected in the concerns of the parents.  According to the survey results, Baby Boomer parents seem to be most concerned about threats such as online predators.  Content – what their kids are watching – seems to weigh most heavily on the minds of Gen X parents, and Millennial parents tend to be more concerned about social media behavior. 

And THAT is what surprised people of FOSI.  As Stephen Balkam, CEO of FOSI stated, “We found it fascinating that Millennial parents, having grown up with technology for a much larger part of  their lives have such a different viewpoint.”  Generally speaking, parents feel that “digital parenting” is an “evolution of trust” between themselves and their children.  And, the research conducted by FOSI found that 76% of parents surveyed feel they are doing a good job of discussing online safety issues with their children. Overall, that is a pretty high percentage.  

The bottom line is this: parents have a responsibility to do what they can to help keep their children safe in the digital world.  No matter which parental generation they  are in.