Startup Idea: Social Network Monitoring Tool for Parents, Who Admit Shortcomings When It Comes to Protecting Their Children Online

August 9, 2011

11:17 am

A new SocialShield study that was conducted with comScore and NDP and released today reveals something truly shocking: many parents do not properly monitor their children’s social networking activities, if at all, even though about half of young people experiencing some form of cyberbullying or other harassment online.

Now, it’s not that parents don’t care or are totally negligent, they just don’t have the tools, knowledge or time to properly monitor their children on social networks—and many admit that they take no precautions at all.

Maybe this is a rather macabre thing to say, but this is a great opportunity for startups, because obviously there is a huge need that needs to be filled.  They can just follow in the footsteps of SocialShield, one of a handful of online monitoring services.

Consider this: more than 69% of parents with children ages 10 – 17 say their children biggest fears being are: contact from strangers, information being displayed online that shares their child’s physical location, postings that could tarnish their child’s reputation, and their child getting cyberbullied.

Some more stats to mull over:

  • Only 32% of parents say they actually monitor their child’s social networking activities every day, and 28% of parents admit they only occasionally, rarely or never monitor their child’s social networking activities.
  • 66% of parents believe they should monitor all of their child’s Facebook activity including emails and chats, yet the most common monitoring technique stated—“friending” their child—does not allow the parent to monitor email, chats or many other activities where dangers could lurk.
  • About 10-20% of young people experience cyberbullying regularly, and they are almost twice as likely to attempt suicide as those who don’t.
  • 54% of parents say they monitor their child’s social networking account by logging into his/her account as him/her on occasion.

If any entrepreneurs-to-be need any more convincing that this is a great space to enter, remember that social networks require the use of your real name and identity.  Kids, especially teenagers, often post excessive amounts of personal data, not realizing they are leaving a trail of who they are, what they do, and where they can be found.

Entrepreneurs, get in there and fill that gap.

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Monika Jansen is a writer and editor who is happiest pounding out blog posts, newsletters, website content, and other materials. Follow her at: @monikacjansen

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