How tricky teens hide online and what you can do about it

POSA study last year revealed that nearly 50% of parents believe that they know what their teens are doing online, while 70 percent of teens revealed they have ways to avoid parental monitoring!

Teens trick their parents in the following ways:

  • 53 percent = number of teens that clear their browser history to keep web visits off the record
  • 46 percent = number of teens that close/minimize their browser when a parent walks near (to hide the web site)
  • 34 percent = number of teens that hide or delete instant messages or videos
  • 23 percent = number of teens that lie or omit discussing details with parents about online activity
  • 23 percent = number of teens that use a PC their parents don’t check
  • 21 percent = number of teens that use an Internet-enabled mobile device
  • 20 percent = number of teens that use privacy settings to make web content viewable only by friends
  • 20 percent = number of teens that use private browsing modes or proxy web sites (which are free)
  • 15 percent = number of teens that create a private email address unknown to their parents
  • 9 percent = number of teens that create a duplicate or fake social network profiles and share one of them with parents

In an article posted on huffingtonpost by Russ Warner he outlines how ‘many of these tricks can be prevented or monitored.’  These are some of his suggestions:

Parental Controls

Parents are busy.  They need help.  Parental control software solutions monitor Internet browsing, for example. That way, a parent can limit the types of web sites visited based with a profile they choose for their child or teen. For example, if you don’t want your teen looking at drugs, alcohol, tobacco, pornography or lingerie web sites, you can set a profile to block those sites while allowing all others.

For parental controls solutions that monitor and control Internet browsing, go to a third-party review site such as Top Ten Reviews, ZDNet or CNET.

Second, there are Facebook/social network monitoring solutions available now. In fact, Tumblr now has a slight edge over Facebook when it comes to the sites most popular among teens.

Third-party review sites typically publish lists of Facebook monitoring software as well. Those types of solutions let parents view their child’s Facebook page, keep tabs on “friends” and posts and view photos. That type of information can save a digital identity, embarrassment or even tragedy.

Admin Rights

One more commonly overlooked issue: do not give a child “administrator” (or Admin) rights on a computer. To clarify, all computer operating systems have modes of operation. These modes restrict or grant privileges to the user.

For example, if you have Admin rights, you can create, delete or modify files, folders and settings on your computer. A teen with Admin rights doesn’t need to play by the rules to uninstall software programs or to delete critical files.

The computer’s operating system assumes that the Admin is in charge.

To learn more about this, see another blog: Don’t Give Admin Rights To Kids.

Talk About It

Overall, parents should openly discuss the use of technology with their kids. A parent has the right to protect a child (as the parent). In reality, the parent is likely paying for the device, the Internet access, and any mobile phone bill and, therefore, should establish clear rules of conduct.

You would establish rules for the use of the family car, right?

Russ Warner: Top Ways Kids Hide Their Online Behavior From Parents.

About Renata Rowe

Deputy Head of Campus/Head of Secondary, Ivanhoe Grammar School, Plenty Campus This blog is the School's way of helping our parents and teachers understand and experience the cyber world that their children live in. We post stories about the latest cyber safety issues, and the latest social mediums that their children and teens might be using. We believe that teaching children and teens to be good Digital Citizen from a young age will protect them and their reputations. Our parents have been delighted and have subscribed so that they can receive our updates - we post about once or twice a week. So subscribe - its easy to do, just enter your email address in the box in the top righthand corner of the home page and posts will automatically be delivered to you.
This entry was posted in Cyber Safety, cybersafety, Dangers, Internet safety, Parental Controls, Parents, Social Media, Social Networking, Teens and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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