EAGAN, Minn. – A new survey says parents are worrying more – but doing less – to protect their children from Internet dangers, such as cyberbullying, online predators, inappropriate content and revealing too much personal information.

According to a survey by FindLaw.com, the most popular legal information website, 76 percent of parents are either extremely worried, very worried or somewhat worried about their children’s online safety. That’s up from 66 percent four years ago.

How worried are you about your children’s safety when they use the Internet?

2015 2011
Extremely worried 15% 10%
Very worried 20% 18%
Somewhat worried 41% 39%
Not very worried 17% 20%
Not worried at all 7% 14%


But despite the growing concern, fewer parents are taking steps to safeguard their children. Two-thirds of parents (66 percent) are taking precautions such as monitoring the Web sites their children visit, restricting their use of social networks, reading their children’s online communications or using site-blocking software, but that number is down from 74 percent four years ago.

Protective Steps Taken by Parents*

2015 2011
Monitor which sites they visit 30% 35%
Use site-blocking software 17% 21%
Restrict their access to computers 14% 19%
Restrict their use of social networks 15% 18%
Read their emails or social posts 11% 17%
Don’t allow any Internet use 7% 8%
Other restrictions 11% 29%

*Respondents could give more than one answer

“The vast majority of parents are taking at least some steps to protect their children from potentially dangerous aspects of the Internet,” said Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney and editor with FindLaw.com. “But the numbers are declining. Parents are taking fewer precautions to protect their children, even though parents are more concerned than ever. Protective steps don’t need to be time-consuming or expensive, and can be as simple as having proper privacy settings and knowing what your children are doing when they are online.”

Free Internet resources such as  FindLaw.com’s Online Safety section and the FBI Parents Guide to Internet Safety can provide helpful information on how to protect yourself and your family online.

The FindLaw survey was conducted using a survey of a demographically balanced sample of 643 parents and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4 percent.


FindLaw, part of Thomson Reuters, is a leading provider of business development solutions for small law firms. Through its team of legal marketing experts, FindLaw drives the industry by delivering a comprehensive portfolio of proven online and offline marketing solutions designed to connect law firms with targeted prospective clients. FindLaw is also home to the largest online directory of lawyers and FindLaw.com, the most popular legal website with more than seven million people visiting each month for free information about a legal topic, to solve a legal problem or to find a lawyer.

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