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Tech Watch: Kids Increasingly Hide Online Activity From Parents

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5/CNET) – It should come as no surprise, but your kids are hiding some of their online activity from you. What is a bit of a surprise is that they are doing it a lot more now than in the last McAfee survey two years ago.

Here are some of the most common tactics:

• Clearing the browser history (53%)
• Close/minimize browser when parent walked in (46%)
• Hide or delete IMs or videos (34%)
• Lie or omit details about online activities (23%)
• Use a computer your parents don’t check (23%)
• Use an internet-enabled mobile device (21%)
• Use privacy settings to make certain content viewable only by friends (20%)
• Use private browsing modes (20%)
• Create private email address unknown to parents (15%)
• Create duplicate/fake social network profiles (9%)

Typically your kids want to hide the fact they are accessing violence, pornography or social networks. Depending on the age of the child your response will vary greatly. For very young kids, you may want to use some sort of monitoring software on any home computer they use — we have a great listing at CNET.

For older kids, that will probably backfire and be ineffective — they know how to get around it way better than you know how to use it. That’s where a conversation and an agreement come into play.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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