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Technology Fuels Cyberbullying and Cheating in Teens

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McAfee’s study “The Digital Divide: How the Online Behavior of Teens is Getting Past Parents” shows an alarming 70% of teens have hidden their online behavior from their parents, up from 45% in 2010. And yet half of parents live under the assumption that their teen tells them everything he/she does online.

The school year is now upon us. If you haven’t already, you will soon start packing up the kids to send them off to school. Outfitting your kids with new clothes are new technologies is often a big part of back to school preparations.

However, these technologies can have drawbacks and even some dangers that parents need to address: cyberbullying and cheating.

Here are some startling facts that we as parents need to be aware of:

Cyberbullying

Almost 25% of teens claimed to be targets of cyber bullying and 2/3 of all teens havewitnessed cruel behavior online

Only 10% of parents are aware of their teens are targets of cyber bullying

Facebook has become the new school yard for bullies with 92.6% of teens saying that cruel behavior takes place on Facebook, and 23.8% on Twitter, 17.7% on MySpace and 15.2% via Instant Messenger

When witnessing others being attacked, 40% of teens have told the person to stop, 21% have told an adult and 6% joined in

When being attacked themselves, 66% of teens responded to the attacker (with 35% responding in person), 15.4% avoided school, and an alarming 4.5% have been in a physical fight with their attacker

Cheating

Only 23% of parents express concern about their teen going online to cheat in school, yet nearly half of all teens (48%) admit they’ve looked up answers to a test or assignment online

22% cheated specifically on a test via online or mobile phone; while only 5% of parents believed their children did this.

15.8% of teens have admitted to cheating on a test by looking up answers on their phone yet only 3.2% of parents thought their teens cheated this way

14.1% of teens admitted to looking up how to cheat on a test online

Overall, 77.2% of parents said they were not worried about their teens cheating online

Parents, you must stay in-the-know. Since your teens have grown up in an online world, they may be more online savvy than you, but you can’t give up. You must challenge yourself to become familiar with the complexities of the teen online universe and stay educated on the various devices your teens are using to go online.

As a parent, I proactively participate in my kids’ online activities and talk to them about the “rules of the road” for the Internet. I’m hoping that this report opens other parent’s eyes so they’ll become more involved in educating their teens with advice and tools

Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Evangelist to McAfee. See him discussing identity theft on YouTube.(Disclosures)

 

About the Author
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.

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