One of the most challenging and at the same time perhaps the most rewarding tasks that a person can be faced with is to be a parent, more so parenting a teenager. Essentially, a teenager is a freedom, a will, which naturally causes issues when confronted by another will- of the parents’- especially when it attempts to establish its seniority.  Parents consider it their job to make sure that their children grow up to become healthy, successful and responsible. It has been noted in recent surveys that secrecy in terms of how teens behave on the web is in procession. It’s only natural for parents to try and remain ahead of their teens to make sure that they do not indulge in any risky behavior that could land them into trouble.

Teens: Risky and Frisky

The Teen Internet Behavior study (2012) by McAfee shows how teens are hiding risky activities that they engage in, from their parents who remain unaware of this. There is a general awareness nowadays regarding the dangers one can be exposed to online; however, the study shows that teens still post private information and photos that can be risky on the web. Other risky behavioral attributes include accessing inappropriate content while ironically 73.5% parents trust that their children won’t do so. According to some more stats, the largest group is of the teens who have accessed simulated violence online, followed by the ones who have accessed sexual topics and then the ones accessing pornographic and nude content.

Among other specificities of teenage is keeping secrets. Some of these secrets are meant to avoid those awkward moments that make both the teens and their parents equally clueless or those “talks” – the ones that parents are supposed to deliver at least one like the one regarding sexuality, drugs, etc- and others are just plain cover ups for teens’ shady activities.  The survey by McAfee shows that these surreptitious ways are gaining momentum as over 70% teens have found ways to sidestep parental monitoring while the figure was 45% in 2010.

Sneaky…Stealthy…Caught in the act

Fortunately for the parents, there are several tools available that can help parents monitor and manage data flow from the Web. Many carriers, including Verizon, offer options that filter content from the internet according to the user’s age. Similarly, Microsoft offers Family Safety via Windows Live Essentials, from Windows 7 onwards, which can help restricting programs, content and downloads along with setting access times and tracking child’s online activity.

Furthermore, internet abuse can entail legal risks for a teenager too. The study indicates that 15% teens hack a social network account, 8.7% hack an email account and 30.7% access pirated content on the internet while less than 15% parents know about such activities.

All in all, it’s a difficult decision for parents to draw the lines for their children especially when it comes to internet usage. In this age of information and technology where children are much more tech savvy than parents, parents would not want to see their child lagging behind others in this regard. However, parents would also not want to live in a bubble till the child comes across someone dangerous on the net or even worse that the child becomes that someone dangerous and authorities come knocking their doors.

Author Bio: Stella Rabecca's work in the field of spy apps such as tracking software on blackberry, iPhone spy app, Android spyware etc. has been getting a lot of traction of late. Her articles on spyware for blackberry have gotten a lot of attention and continue to wow her readers.


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