Top 10 Ways Teens Get Around Parental Monitoring
Do you think you have a pretty good idea of what your child is doing online? You may even have parental controls or parental monitoring software. Despite all the effort you go through to monitor your teen's Internet activity, your kids may still be pulling the wool over your eyes in more ways than one, a new study reveals.
The 2012 Teen Internet Behavior Study from McAfee took a closer look at the ways kids 13-17 hide their Internet activity from their parents. Teens reported that their top 10 methods included:
- Clearing the browser history (53%)
- Closing/minimizing browser windows when parent walked in (46%)
- Hiding or deleting IMs or videos (34%)
- Lying or omitting details about online activities (23%)
- Using a computer your parents don’t check (23%)
- Using an Internet-enabled mobile device (21%)
- Using privacy settings to make certain content viewable only by friends (20%)
- Using private browsing modes (20%)
- Creating private email address unknown to parents (15%)
- Creating duplicate/fake social network profiles (9%)
I don't tell you this to make you panic: but it's pretty likely that your teen is using at least a few of these methods to get away with online behavior that you would be less than thrilled about.
This list can actually be a valuable tool for parents. If you know some of the things your teen might be doing to circumvent your efforts at parental monitoring, then you have a place to start. How often is your browser history cleared? Are there instant messages or texts in the trash that haven't been erased yet? Do other email addresses or social networking accounts match your child's name besides the one you know about?
Kids have always tried hard to find ways to fly under the radar of their watchful parents, and it doesn't necessarily signal that something serious is going on. But unless you keep tabs on what your child is doing online, you'll never really know.
Jenny Evans is a mother of four and a blogger specializing in parenting, childhood, and family issues.