You might be surprised that Victorian families are the least likely to actively keep an eye on what websites their kids are visiting, given that they’re also the most likely to have an Internet-capable computer in a shared area of the home.

Generation Next’s research with parents of 527 children asked what strategies they used to monitor online activities.

Only 48 percent of Victorian parents say they “shoulder surf” – and this is the worst result in the country with the national figure close to six-in-ten.

Sixty-eight percent kept the computer in a shared space. That’s well above the national figure of 59 percent.

Our cyber safety expert Susan McLean likens letting a child loose on the Internet to leaving them in the middle of Melbourne, walking away and hoping for the best. You have no idea who is out there.

Restricting Internet use to a computer in a common area of the house is a solid strategy but it can still be risky if parents don’t know what websites their kids are accessing.”

Although most Australian parents (78 percent) claim to control their children’s computer use, only one-in-three has Internet filtering in place and 760,000 teenagers are allowed to have computers in their bedrooms.

The lesson here is that many parents are doing an OK job of managing online risk but we could all probably do much better.