August 08, 2013 —

Every month, we’re keeping you informed on the latest studies and research in our “Not My Teen” blog series. Today, we’re looking at the online behaviors of teenagers and what they may be hiding from their parents.

According to a McAfee software security survey of 2,017 teens and parents, 70 percent of teens admitted to hiding their online behavior from their parents, which is up from 45 percent in 2010. The survey also found that 61 percent of teens felt confident that they could easily hide their online activity and were doing so in numerous different ways.

The top three ways teens keep their Internet activities a secret is by clearing their browser history (53 percent), closing or minimizing their browser when a parent is present (46 percent) and deleting or hiding past instant messages and/or videos (34 percent).

Some of the more surprising survey results found that 15 percent of teens left an open chat to go into a private chat with someone they met online, 12 percent of teens met up with someone in person that they met online and 16 percent of teens used their cell phone to cheat on exams.

Regardless of whether or not you are a tech-savvy parent, you can help assure your teen is safe and smart online. One of the best ways is to regularly talk with your teen one-on-one about their online behavior and the risks and consequences associated with their choices. Ask about their favorite websites, what social networks they use, what new apps they have downloaded and make sure you clearly reiterate what is and is not appropriate online behavior.

Learn more about this survey and its findings here.