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New study reveals 59% tweens and teens engage with strangers online

We have preached to our children about not talking to strangers in the park or on the playground, but do we do enough to protect our kids when it comes to cyberspace?

No summer vacation for online safety.
No summer vacation for online safety.McAfee Consumer

McAfee Consumer just released their latest 2014 study on "Teens and Screens" and it reveals some unsettling statistics.

With 59% of tweens and teens engaging with strangers online, what is more disturbing is 1 out of 12 of them will actually meet them in real life!

According to the study, 33% of the tweens and teens say they feel more accepted online than they do in real life.

Oversharing has become another factor that is a concern for parents. 14% of teens actually gave out their home address online. Although 77% admit they realize it can't be deleted, they are still posting private information about themselves.

Cyberbullying has tripled in 2014. With all the resources and organizations about cyberbullying prevention, strangely 24% of tweens and teens said they would not know what to do in the event of cyberbullying.

Digital Parenting is absolute, but is it working? 90% of tweens and teens say that their parents trust them to do what is right online, yet 45% said they would behave different if they knew their parents were watching them.

Some tips from McAfee Consumer:

  • Establish rules: Parents should establish pinpointed rules about computer activities including sites the kids can visit and what is and isn’t appropriate behavior online, including the fact that online is forever.
  • Check in: Kids should be told to immediately report cyberbullying. whether they are witnessing it or being a victim.
  • Meet their “friends”: If it’s not possible to meet that person in person, then your child shouldn’t be chatting with them online.
  • Learn their technology: You should know more about the various devices that your kids use than your kids do, not the other way around.
  • Get their passwords: Parents should have full access to their kids’ devices and social media accounts at all times; they need the passwords.
  • Have security software on all their devices: Make sure all your kids’ devices and yours have comprehensive security software, like McAfee LiveSafe™ service.