According to a recent McAfee study, the vast majority of teenagers are engaging in risky business, and hiding it from their parents. The security technology company’s 2012 Teen Internet Behavior study looks at the online behaviors, habits, interests, and lifestyles of the Internet generation – kids ages 13 to 17, as well as popular tactics for covering up bad behavior before Mom and Dad find out. They discovered that 70% of teens hide their online activity from their parents. Allowing teens to participate in unmonitored online activity exposes them to real dangers with serious consequences and these dangers are growing exponentially with the proliferation of social networking sites.

McAfee online safety expert Stanley Holditch said in the report that it is not shocking that kids are engaging in this sort of behavior, but it is surprising how unaware parents are about the activity. There is a major increase, since the company’s 2010 survey, in the volume of teenagers finding ways to cover their online tracks, he said. The most common ways kids fool their parents are by clearing browser history, minimizing the browser when parents walk in, creating private email addresses unknown to parents, etc.

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