McAfee’s study “The Digital Divide: How the Online Behavior of Teens is Getting Past Parents” shows an alarming 70% of teens have hidden their online behavior from their parents, up from 45% in 2010. And yet half of parents live under the assumption that their teen tells them everything he/she does online.
The school year is now upon us. If you haven’t already, you will soon start packing up the kids to send them off to school. Outfitting your kids with new clothes are new technologies is often a big part of back to school preparations.
However, these technologies can have drawbacks and even some dangers that parents need to address: cyberbullying and cheating.
Here are some startling facts that we as parents need to be aware of:
- Almost 25% of teens claimed to be targets of cyber bullying and 2/3 of all teens have witnessed cruel behavior online
- Only 10% of parents are aware of their teens are targets of cyber bullying
- Facebook has become the new school yard for bullies with 92.6% of teens saying that cruel behavior takes place on Facebook, and 23.8% on Twitter, 17.7% on MySpace and 15.2% via Instant Messenger
- When witnessing others being attacked, 40% of teens have told the person to stop, 21% have told an adult and 6% joined in
- When being attacked themselves, 66% of teens responded to the attacker (with 35% responding in person), 15.4% avoided school, and an alarming 4.5% have been in a physical fight with their attacker
- Only 23% of parents express concern about their teen going online to cheat in school, yet nearly half of all teens (48%) admit they’ve looked up answers to a test or assignment online
- 22% cheated specifically on a test via online or mobile phone; while only 5% of parents believed their children did this.
- 15.8% of teens have admitted to cheating on a test by looking up answers on their phone yet only 3.2% of parents thought their teens cheated this way
- 14.1% of teens admitted to looking up how to cheat on a test online
- Overall, 77.2% of parents said they were not worried about their teens cheating online
Parents, you must stay in-the-know. Since your teens have grown up in an online world, they may be more online savvy than you, but you can’t give up. You must challenge yourself to become familiar with the complexities of the teen online universe and stay educated on the various devices your teens are using to go online.
As a parent, I proactively participate in my kids’ online activities and talk to them about the “rules of the road” for the Internet. I’m hoping that this report opens other parent’s eyes so they’ll become more involved in educating their teens with advice and tools
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