The Secret Life Of Teens Online

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The Secret Life Of Teens Online

New McAfee report shows teenagers think they're safe online, but their actions demonstrate otherwise

Jun 30, 2010 | 04:49 PM

By Kelly Jackson Higgins


The majority of this Internet-savvy generation of teenagers is confident in their safety online, but more than one-fourth have inadvertently infected their home computers with malware, and 14 percent share passwords with friends.

A new report by McAfee reveals how teens' perception of safe online behavior doesn't exactly match the risky ways they operate on the Net: Ninety-five percent say they are confident they can remain safe online, but in the meantime nearly one-third of them have downloaded a program without their parents' knowledge, and one-fourth of teenage girls say they chat online with strangers.

McAfee's report is based on an online survey conducted in May by Harris Interactive of 1,357 kids between the ages of 10 and 17 in the U.S.

More than 90 percent say their parents trust them online, but at the same time 56 percent say their parents don't know all of what they are doing online, and 26 percent say their parents don't have time to monitor it. Around 31 percent say that if their parents were watching them online, they'd change their behaviors.


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