Secret Life of Teens: A McAfee Survey about Online Teen Behavior
Article by George Norman
On 06 Jul 2010
Do you have any idea what teens do while surfing the web? McAfee, company that specializes in providing security software solutions for home and business users, does know what teens do online. The company knows because it commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct a survey called “Secret Life of Teens”.

If you thought that your teen accesses the web only while at home, then you are mistaken. According to McAfee’s survey 85% of teens go online somewhere other than home. This means they go online while not under your supervision. Do you trust your teen to tell you what he’s doing online? Well, you shouldn’t – according to the study, 32% of teens do not tell their parents what they do online. And do you think your teen is safe while surfing the web? According to the study, 28% of teens engage with strangers online – now that can’t be safe.


Here are some other facts the study revealed:
  • - 69% of teens divulged their physical location
  • - 28% chatted with strangers. Girls did more so than boys. 32% of girls reported they chatted with strangers, while only 24% of boys said they chatted with strangers.
  • - 43% shared their first name
  • - 24% shared their email address
  • - 18% posted photos of themselves
  • - 12% posted their cell phone number

“Kids today are using mobile devices more than ever to get connected, which means increased opportunities for unsupervised usage. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily, but it can become one easily. I truly believe it comes down to values. It is not that young people today do not value privacy or security but rather that they value openness much more. To protect young people, we need education and technology, both of which are firmly in the hands of us parents. Kids cannot teach themselves to be safe online,” commented Security Research Manager with McAfee, David Marcus.

If you would like to download the Secret Life of Teens survey, please click here (PDF warning).

Tags: McAfee, Secret Life of Teens, Survey, Online Safety
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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