Over half of parents fear their children are putting future career prospects in peril with the content they are posting online, new research has found.
A survey of 1,500 UK parents, conducted by AgeChecked, reported on what parents fear the most about their children’s online activity.
It found that 58% are concerned their children may share content that would embarrass them in the future, such as when they apply for jobs. These fears are not misplaced – a recent survey found 70% of potential employers have searched candidates’ social media profiles, and more than half rejected a candidate because of something they saw.
More broadly, the AgeChecked survey revealed that the majority of parents (71%) worry about what their children are doing on social media sites.
It seems, parents are concerned their children may be accessing social media sites too young in life. While many sites have a minimum age requirement of 14, the study found that 59% of children have used social media sites by the age of 10.
This fact has not gone unnoticed by parents – and 57% say that current online age restrictions designed to protect children are not going far enough and 60% want better age controls on social media channels to keep their children safe.
CEO of AgeChecked Alastair Graham said: “It is understandable that parents are concerned about what their children are posting online and who they’re communicating with. Children are now using social media sites on a regular basis from a young age, and it’s not always possible for parents to supervise internet access 24/7.’
While affirming access to the internet can be enjoyable and educational, Graham stressed: ‘It can really hamper future success if children are posting potentially embarrassing content.’
“There’s an increasing need for businesses, schools and website owners to work with parents to educate young people on the dangers,’ he added.