It’s not exactly a surprise that teenagers hide stuff from their parents. What’s impressive, however, is that while parents believe they know everything their teen does online, a survey shows the opposite. In fact, 70 percent of teens’ online browsing is hidden from parents.
Despite parental control features, the innovative teens of today have managed to hide most of their online browsing. A McAfee survey showed that this year alone, teens managed to keep 70 percent of their online browsing hidden from their parents, a whooping increase from 2010’s 45percent.
For the most part, what teens hide from their parents is justified. Their curiosity doesn’t necessary imply they would engage in controversial activities, but it does show their need for knowledge. However certain subjects might get them grounded without further ado. So the survey published this Monday emphasizes the lack of communication between parents and their children.
The McAfee survey reported that 43 percent of the interviewed teens have browsed for simulated violence websites, while 36 percent spent time online reading about sex. Another 32 percent admitted to have used the Internet for nude photos and/or pornography. Some have even managed to hack email accounts and social networks, as well as finding answers at school tests.
Don’t imagine teens have found intricate ways to fool their parents. They are able to hide their online behavior with simple things such as closing or minimizing the browser window whenever a parent walked into the room or approached them. Some are regularly deleting or hiding instant messages, videos and emails. And others have developed an even more secure way for not getting caught browsing banned content: using a computer parents would never think to check.
For the most part, parents trust their kids with their online browsing. The survey showed that 73.5 percent of the parents with teens trust them not to browse inappropriate sites. Another 23 percent admitted to not being able to monitor their children’s online behavior because they find technology overwhelming.
Robert Siciliano with McAfee advises parents to “stay in-the-know”. Even if the children have the benefits of growing up in an online world, Siciliano says you shouldn’t give up. “You must challenge yourselves to become familiar with the complexities of the teen online universe and stay educated on the various devices your teens are using to go online”.