Teens Hide Online Activity

Jul 05, 2012

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Teens are very good at using the Internet and they spend a lot of time on it. What exactly are they doing online for hours on end? It turns out, most teens don't want you to know.

A survey funded by McAfee gives insight into online teen behavior, including hiding various activities from parents. "Seventy percent of teens 'hide their online behavior' from parents, according to the report, which was released Monday. That's up from 45% in 2010, the group says."

Parents who work to stay in-the-know face an army of Internet-savvy teens fighting for their privacy and independence. Teens don't recognize the risks involved with certain online behaviors, so they habitually cover their tracks.

"These hidden behaviors include some things you might expect -- such as accessing violent (43%) or pornographic (32%) content online -- but also a few surprises. Fifteen percent of teens have hacked into social networks; 9% have hacked into e-mail accounts; 12% have met face to face with a person he or she met on the Internet; and 16% of teens surveyed said they had used their phones to cheat on tests at school."

Many teens participate in activities on the web that parents would probably advise against. Without proper monitoring, there can be serious consequences.

The take-home message of this survey is that parents should be actively involved in their teen's online behavior. Whether that means using parental controls software or simply opening up communication and setting clearly-defined boundaries is a decision for parents to make. Parents are the only ones who know what is best for their own family.

I work for ContentWatch and all opinions expressed here are my own.