Study reports on teenagers’ online behaviour

A few days ago Mashable reported on McAfee’s study into the online behaviour of teenagers. Although US based, this gives us a reasonable idea of how Australian teenagers are using the internet.

  •  70% of teens are hiding their online behavior from their parents, up from 45% in 2010. What exactly teens are hiding runs the gamut, but across the board parents are in the dark about most of their kids’ online activity. 
  • For example, 48.1% of teens admitted to looking up assignments and test answers online, while 77.2% of their parents said they don’t worry about their kids cheating in school.
  • And while 32% of teens surveyed have accessed pornographic content online, only 12% of their parents thought they had.
  • Similarly, 51% of teens reported that they have hacked someone’s social media account and 31% reported pirating movies and music. Meanwhile, less than 1 in 10 parents surveyed were aware that their children engaged in these illegal activities.
  • The study found that teens are getting creative with how they hide their online content and activity—a majority of teens (53%) regularly clear their browser history to keep their parents out of the loop. Twenty-four percent of teens went so far as to either create private email addresses unknown to their parents or create duplicate/fake social media profiles.
  • Despite an overwhelming sentiment of “not my kid” denial, parents are stepping up their game with online monitoring in an attempt to keep their kids out of trouble. Many are setting parental controls (49%), obtaining email and social network passwords (44%) and even using location-based devices to keep track of teens (10%). Still, nearly a quarter of parents surveyed admitted that they are so overwhelmed with technology that they can’t monitor their children’s online behaviors and are simply hoping for the best.
  • Other key findings of the study included statistics indicating a rise in cyberbullying, and Facebook proves to be the epicenter. Sixty-two percent of teens have witnessed cruel behavior online, and 93% of them say that it took place on Facebook.

Read more information from Mashable here and McAfee’s whole report here.