14/08/2014 16:56 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Six Out Of 10 Parents Snoop On Their Children's Social Media

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Concerned Mature Couple looking at each others mobile phones

Have you cast a glance? Had a sneaky peek? Spied on your children's emails, texts and Facebook messages?

Six out of 10 parents admit they regularly read snoop on their kids because they believe it is necessary to keep tabs on who their children engage with online.

A new study also found one in 10 parents have gone as far as finding out their son or daughter's password, despite their offspring's best attempts to keep it from them.

But, as a result, one in three parents have been racked with guilt after hacking into their child's email or Facebook account, according to the survey of 2,000 parents of youngsters aged 10-17.

Alex Balan of internet security firm BullGuard, which carried out the survey, said: "Parents do face a real moral dilemma as to whether they should check what their children are doing online.

"It's understandable to want to keep tabs on the sites that they are visiting but whether to read private emails, texts and messages poses a real quandary for parents.

"Whilst you want to look out for your child and ensure they are safe you also want them to be technologically savvy and have their own independence."

The study found that one in five parents have been 'shocked' by content they have discovered in their children's emails and texts or on their Facebook accounts, while 17 per cent have had to intervene after their child was threatened online.

It also emerged that one in five parents are convinced their children lie about their age to gain access to social networking sites. More than one in ten parents have had to deal with their child being bullied online.


1. Reading messages on social network sites

2. Checking their internet history

3. Reading their text messages

4. Monitoring list of friends on social networks

5. Checking pictures on social network sites

6. Reading their emails

7. Checking their call list

8. Finding out their passwords

9. Asking teachers to monitor on internet use

10. Getting a sibling to help to snoop

Tamsin Kelly, editor of, says: "Spying and snooping are very emotive words. We should be teaching our children how to use social media sensibly and in the family environment. Snooping only makes us more alarmed, and gives us half pictures, and breaks down trust with our children."