As internet use among Americans of all ages increasingly becomes second nature, there has been an intergenerational conversation within the family-between parents and their children, and among seniors and their children and grandchildren-about online safety. today's parents are the first generation to be confronted with technology use by their parents and elderly relatives, as well as their children, and are in uncharted.
This study confirms families' significant participation in the growing ecosystem of online services, and their role on the frontlines of navigating various online threats and managing the use of tools and technologies to protect their safety and security online. This report offers new insights into the impact of technology on families and fills in some of the informational gaps about the benefits and challenges of being online.
To get a more complete picture of how Americans are faring across the digital landscape, this report consists of two surveys: a survey of senior citizens and a survey of parents. the surveys oversampled the African American, Hispanic, and low-income communities to better understand the unique challenges these groups and their children face, and the choices they make.
Seniors and parents realize the benefits of using the internet and technology. two in three online seniors say technology has had a positive effect on their lives. Many online seniors report they use social media and navigation apps, and shop online. Fewer use the internet for health-related services or grocery delivery, but many express interest in doing so.
Parents of connected children are nearly twice as likely to feel technology and the internet have made their job as a parent easier rather than harder. Technology and the internet help with children's homework, and provide access to entrainment, information, and educational content. parents report being online helps their children build technology skills, research information, foster career skills, and creativity, and enhances their performance in school.
But challenges remain. About seven in 10 online seniors are concerned about identity theft computer viruses and malware, and hacking of financial accounts. Across most other online safety concerns explored in the survey, African and Hispanic seniors are more likely than whites to worry about them. Most of the 20% of seniors who do not use the internet report they have little interest in being online.
Parents are concerned about keeping their connected children safe online, noting they find it challenging to monitor their connected safe online, noting they find it challenging to monitor their child's use of technology, access to inappropriate content, who their child is engaging with, and total screen time. Social media use in particular worries parents; by a sizable margin, parents think the potential harms of their child having a social media account outweigh the potential benefits. While a majority of parents rate themselves as highly confident in their ability to keep track of and manage their child's use of technology, this confidence diminishes as both parents and children become older.
Most digital families proactively protect themselves. More than nine in 10 seniors take at least one step to protect personal information online and nearly half take two or more steps, such as using strong passwords, using unique passwords for each of their accounts, and installing anti-virus software. Nearly two thirds of parents report using at least one parental.
Control tool, and interest in parental controls is high among those who do not already use them. in addition, most parents have faith that their child fully appreciates the need to be safe and guard personal information online and understands that things said or posted online are never truly deleted.
Technology, has the power to bring families together across generations. Despite the challenges, most parents think technology has improved communication among their family members. Nearly eight in ten parents or elderly relatives say these relatives use text messaging, e-mail, or social media to communicate with them. and importantly, both parents and seniors are talking to thir children and grandchildren about the importance of being safe online.