America’s youth are engaging in risky behavior online, and most parents have no idea what is going on in their kids’ smartphones, tablets and PCs, according a new study by McAfee that examines the online habits of preteens, teenagers and young adults.
The study surveyed young people aged 10-23, and people that had kids within that age range, and discovered that there is a significant disconnect between what parents think their children are doing on the Internet, and their actual behavior online.
While most of the young people said that they understood that the Internet poses potential risks, they also said that not only do take part in risky online activities but take measures to hide such activity from their parents.
More than 57 percent of those aged 13-23 look up sexual topics online, while only 13 percent of parents are aware of these searches. 23 percent have actively sought out pornographic content online.
54 percent of the parents surveyed said that they just didn’t have the time to check up on their kids’ online behavior.
A lot of young people have experienced some sort of direct negative impact from their online interactions --- the end of a friendship, bullying, arguments -- but a far smaller fraction of the parents surveyed said they had any knowledge of this.