A recent study posted on newsgroups recently examined the behavior and activity of teenagers between the ages of 13 to 17, finding that 70% of teens hide their internet activity and behavior from their parents. The report also reveals a gap between what parents believe their children are (or are not) doing online, and what their teens are actually doing.
The new study saw a major rise in the percentage of surveyed teens who admit to hiding their online activity from their parents, jumping 25 percentage points from 45% in 2010. Some of the tricks teens used to hide their online activity included minimizing their browser window (at least, presumably, the windows containing the content they don’t want their parents to see), hiding/deleting IMs and videos, and clearing their browser’s history.
A number of teens (23%) even admitted to lying about or omitting details regarding their online behavior. But there are several others ways that teens got around their parents’ efforts to monitor their online behavior as well. Some take advantage of privacy settings so their parents could not see some of their information; some use their mobile device to access the internet; and some use private browsing options to conceal their activity.
The report also revealed that three of every four parents trust their children to avoid content that is not considered appropriate. Still, nearly half of parents surveyed have installed parental controls, and 44.3% say they are aware of their teen’s passwords.
In the report, it recommends talking with teens so they understand the risks and consequences of certain activities, and taking advantage of parental controls and then monitoring to determine if their teen has figured a way around them. It also recommends informing teens of the monitors and controls, as this may help alter their online behavior.
The Internet and Usenet, which actually predates the World Wide Web, are great resources for sharing information, ideas, and more. However, there are also dangers, both physical and emotional, in teens accessing certain content or sharing personal information online. Usenet features, in addition to a vast expanse of other topics, newsgroups dedicated to parenting. You’ll also find newsgroups dedicated to the discussion of social behavior and trends, to which the recent study also applies.