Won't 'Friend' Mom and Dad? They'll Just Hack Your Facebook Page

Filed under: In The News, Teen Culture, Research Reveals: Teens

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Mom and Dad want to know your status. Credit: Adrian Wyld/AP

Parents on a mission to uncover the secret lives of teens will stop at nothing to uncover the truth. At least, that's the finding of a new survey that reveals 10 percent of parental units have found a way to hack into their teen's Facebook account.

According to MSNBC, of these folks who log on without their teen's knowledge and aren't "friended" by their offspring, 82 percent say they like to delete information from their teen's account or "otherwise exert more control over it."

Sneaky parents attributed their sleuthing to concerns about their teen's safety and the kinds of information they post on the social networking site, MSNBC reports.

At the same time, 72 percent of parents monitor their kid's Facebook pages with their teen's permission, according to a social networking privacy survey of parents and teens by TRUSTe.com and reported in a press release. The survey looked at the social networking behaviors of 2,000 parents and teens on Facebook.

Parents are persistent in their Facebook monitoring, according to the release. Fifty percent of the parents who monitor their kids' sites do so weekly; 35 percent daily and 10 percent monthly. And 40 percent of parents don't access the accounts by a secret log in; their teens give them the access to their Facebook accounts, according to the release.

An overwhelming 98 percent of parents indicate that both their teen's privacy, as well as control over their own personal information, is important, very important or extremely important when using social media websites. Overall, the survey suggests that parents and teens are doing a number of the right activities to protect their privacy, according to the release:

  • 80 percent of parents and 78 percent of teens feel in control of their personal information on social networking sites.
  • 84 percent of parents are confident their teen is responsible with personal information on a social networking site.
  • 84 percent of parents are accurate in understanding the amount of time their teen spends on social networks and generally have a good understanding of the activities they are engaged in online.
The results "clearly" show that parents "place the utmost importance on their teens' online privacy and control of their personal information," says Fran Maier, TRUSTe president, in the release. "But, protecting the privacy of teens on social networks is not easy, as they can be technically adept, have strong motivations to connect widely, and don't yet have the maturity to look out for their long term interests."

The survey also found that 80 percent of teens use privacy settings "at some point to hide content from certain friends and/or parents," according to the release.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.