70% of teens hide online activity from parents

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - It's not shocking that a lot of kids know more about the Internet than adults, but that also means they can hide what they're doing online from adults.

A computer security software company McAfee, surveyed more than 2,000 kids to find out their online habits.

And, 70% said they hide their online activity from their parents.

"70 percent, I'm not surprised at all that they would hide stuff from their parents, not even that they're hiding anything bad," said Candice Perry.

Perry is a mom herself now, but remembers a time living at home with her mom, and using the computer.

"My mom would just be like what are you doing, I'd be like oh you know researching, homework, typing a paper," said Candice Perry.

Candice's mother, Jane Perry, knows her kids weren't an exception to hiding their online use.

"I'm sure they did, there's no doubt that one of mine probably did," said Jane Perry.

"You know I would 'x' kind of like minimize it, and I'd be like okay you know what do you want?" said Candice Perry.

In the survey, almost 50 percent of the kids said they minimized a window when a parent walked in.

But Candice Perry said she doesn't think it's because kids are necessarily hiding something bad.

"It's not that I was hiding anything, it's just a matter of privacy, and I think that a lot of kids, especially teenagers, I think they go through that stage, you know I'm going to do my own thing, I want you to stay out of my business," said Candice Perry.

Fifty-three percent said they clear their browser history.

"You can clear the history, I learned later, moms were always kind of a step behind technology," said Jane Perry.

Both mom and daughter, say it's important for parents to keep up with developing technology.

"Even my mom I've got to teach her how to use Facebook, she doesn't know how to post pictures, especially tag pictures or anything like that," said Candice Perry.

"It's become so difficult that parents really need to keep up with technology to keep up with their children," said Jane Perry.

"Kids can pick up a computer a lot faster than their parents can and know how to get to those places," said Jory Rapps with Velocity Electronics.

Rapps suggests parental controls, privacy settings, or programs like Cyber Control to help monitor activity.

"It's important to be sure that they're safe, but without being a spy," said Rapps.

Rapps said you can also stop in the Cape Girardeau store for help.

Parents said since kids can access Internet on their phones, it's difficult to monitor. In the survey, 21% said they use an Internet-enabled mobile device.

"So many teenagers have smart phones, they have the Facebook app on their phone, and how do you keep track of that," said Jane Perry.

"It's kind of a scary thing, it's like what do you do, do you take their cell phones at night, so that they're not using them, how do you monitor it, what's the extent how you can control that," said Candice Perry.

In the survey 34% said they hide or delete IMs or videos. Twenty-three percent lie or omit details about their online activity. Twenty-three percent use a computer their parents don't check. And almost twenty-five percent create fake email or social network accounts to hide online activities from their parents.

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