Top 10 ways kids hide online activityFrom clearing their browser history to creating private email addresses, teens are increasingly leveraging their tech-savvy skills to hide their online activities from their parents, a new survey found.
By: Rene Lynch, Los Angeles Times
From clearing their browser history to creating private email addresses, teens are increasingly leveraging their tech-savvy skills to hide their online activities from their parents, a new survey found.
More than 70 percent of teens surveyed said they have tricks for deceiving their parents about their online habits, up from 45 percent of teens in 2010 who said they used such tricks, according to a Teen Internet Behavior study released last week by McAfee, the online-security tech company.
By contrast, many parents said they feel overwhelmed and unable to keep up with technologies, with 23 percent saying they have thrown up their hands and “just hope for the best,” according to the survey. An equal amount said they don’t have the time or energy to monitor everything their teens are doing online.
One example of the disconnect between what kids are doing and what parents think they’re doing: Only 12 percent of parents surveyed said they think their teens access porn online, while 43 percent of teens said they access it on a weekly basis. Moreover, 36 percent of teens (and more females than males) surveyed said they go online for information on sex-related topics such as STDs and pregnancy.
Here are the top 10 ways teens are hiding their online behavior from their parents, according to the survey:
- Clearing the browser history (53 percent)
- Closing/minimizing browser when a parent is around (46 percent)
- Hiding or deleting messages and videos (34 percent)
- Lying about online activities (23 percent)
- Using a computer parents don’t check (23 percent)
- Using an Internet-enabled mobile device (21 percent)
- Using privacy settings to make certain content viewable only by friends (20 percent)
- Using a browser’s private viewing mode (20 percent)
- Creating a private email address unknown to parents (15 percent)
- Creating duplicate/fake social network profiles (9 percent)
The survey interviewed 1,004 teens and 1,013 parents online in May. It needs to be pointed out that McAfee released the survey as it’s touting Safe Eyes, an online-monitoring software for parents.
Distributed by McClatchy Tribune