Internet Access by Minors at Home: Usage Norms Imposed by Parents
Keywords:Internet usage, minors, parental control, ICT, youngsters, media literacy
This paper examines and discusses the rules and standards set by parents for their children on Internet usage at home. Data that supports the paper have been obtained by surveying a representative sample of children in the Balearic Islands aged between 6 and 16 years; the analysis dimensions are: access by minors to the Internet from home; location of the computer from which have online access; level of autonomy or accompaniment while surfing the Net; norms imposed by their parents; types of rules imposed; relationship between norms and gender; the minors’ opinion and assessment of the knowledge and abilities of their parents on use of the Internet and, finally, the accompanying strategies of parents when their children access the Internet. The main results shows that just over 53% of minors between 6 and 14, and 62% of those between 15 and 16, surf the Internet without their parents’ presence and free of any norms and/or limitations. Where standards are established, these are mainly to do with temporary restrictions. Therefore, it appears that parents are unaware of the dangers of the Internet or at least act irrationally. This shows the need for awareness and provision of skills, knowledge and abilities to enable parents to assume their responsibilities in the Internet usage of minors..