Teenage Online Behavior

Did You Know...


According to a 2012 Teen Internet Behavior study done by McAfee, Inc., the world's largest dedicated security technology company, 70% of teens hide their online behavior from their parents.

The study investigated the online habits, behaviors, interests, and lifestyles of teens and revealed that they are not only engaging in risky behaviors, but are also hiding it from their parents. The hidden behaviors include everything from posting personal information and risky photos online, and accessing inappropriate online content including simulated violence, sexual topics, and nude content or pornography to cheating on schoolwork.

Teens are tech-savvy and more and more are participating in dangerous and even illegal activities online. The following behaviors were reported by the McAffee study.

  • Accessed simulated violence online (43%)
  • Accessed nude content or pornography online (32%)
  • Hacking a social network site (15%)
  • Accessing pirated movies and music (30.7%)
  • Hacking someone’s email online  (8.7%)
  • Cheating in school by looking for test answers on their phone (16%)
  • Looking up test answers online (48.1%)

Less than 15% of parents are aware their children are engaging in any of these behaviors, and sadly, 77.2% of parents said they were not very or not at all worried about their teens cheating online.

According to the McAffee study, the top 10 ways teens are fooling their parents include:

  1. Clearing the browser history (53%)
  2. Close/minimize browser when parent walked in (46%)
  3. Hide or delete IMs or videos (34%)
  4. Lie or omit details about online activities (23%)
  5. Use a computer your parents don’t check (23%)
  6. Use an internet-enabled mobile device (21%)
  7. Use privacy settings to make certain content viewable only by friends (20%)
  8. Use private browsing modes (20%)
  9. Create private email address unknown to parents (15%)
  10. Create duplicate/fake social network profiles (9%)

“While it is not necessarily surprising that teens are engaging in the same types of rebellious behaviors online that they exhibit offline, it is surprising how disconnected their parents are,” says Stanley Holditch, Online Safety Expert for McAfee. “There is a major increase in the number of teens finding ways to hide what they do online from their parents, as compared to the 2010 study. This is a generation that is so comfortable with technology that they are surpassing their parents in understanding and getting away with behaviors that are putting their safety at risk.”

Some parents are being proactive in helping to keep their kids safe online including:

  • Setting parental controls (49%) -- One of the best internet filters available and a FamilyMint recommendation is K9 Web protection. The best part is it’s FREE!
  • Obtaining email and social network passwords (44%)
  • Taking away computer and mobile devices (27%)
  • Using location-based devices to keep track of teens (10%)

Other parents are simply overwhelmed. Twenty-three percent of the surveyed parents disclosed that they are not monitoring their children’s online behaviors because they are overwhelmed by technology.

“Parents need to get informed about their children’s online behavior,” says Robert Siciliano, McAfee Online Security Expert. “The fact is that allowing teens to participate in unmonitored online activity exposes them to real dangers with real consequences, and these dangers are growing exponentially with the proliferation of social networks.”

Click here to learn more about the McAffee study.

Source: http://www.mcafee.com/us/about/news/2012/q2/20120625-01.aspx

Photo Source: www.teensafe.com