A new study by Dafna Lemish from the Department of Communication at Tel Aviv University has found that there is an enormous gap between what parents think their children are doing online and what is really happening. "The data tell us that parents don't know what their kids are doing," says Lemish. The study found that 30% of children between the ages of 9 and 18 delete their search history from their browsers in an attempt to protect their privacy from their parents, that 73% of the children reported giving out personal information online while the parents of the same children believed that only 4% of their children did so, and that 36% of the children admitted to meeting with a stranger they had met online while fewer than 9% of the parents knew that their children had been meeting with strangers or engaging in what could be viewed as very risky behavior. Lemish advises that parents should give their children the tools to be literate Internet users and most importantly, to talk to their children. "The child needs similar tools that teach them to be weary of dangers in the park, the mall or wherever. The same rules in the real world apply online as well."
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