Smart Ways Kids Hide Online Activity. Here’s What Parents Can Do
If your kid owns a digital device (be it a smartphone, laptop, or tablet), there’s a high chance they hide their online activities from you. Kids are being raised in a digital age where surfing the internet and using social media platforms is just like a second-nature to them.
Almost every other teen is tech-savvy these days because they have been using electronic gadgets since they were toddlers. Even if you have set up parental controls or phone spy apps on their devices, your tech-savvy teens may likely find a way around them.
According to a report published by CNN, around 70% of teens hide online activities from their parents.From creating private email and social media accounts to clearing internet browsing history, kids are using their tech-savvy skills to keep their online activities from their parents.
Nowadays, there are several different ways kids can hide their online activities from parents. Before you can take the correct precautionary measures to control your kid’s internet usage, you need to understand what your kids can do to keep their online activities from you.
Ways Kids Hide Online Activities
Kids can be extremely secretive when it comes to their online activities. They can adopt several different ways to hide their internet activities from parents. Reportedly, the following are some of the smart ways kids can hide their online activities from parents:
Clear the Browsing History
According to a recent survey, 53% of kids clear their internet browsing history so their parents cannot know what they have been surfing and looking for on their web browsers. Kids often clear their internet browsing history when they have searched for inappropriate stuff on the internet and do not want their parents to know. That is the reason they clear their internet browsing history right after using the web browser.
Closing/Minimizing Browser When a Parent is Around
The same survey reported that 46% of kids close/minimize the web browsers as soon as parents walk in on them or are found near them. Kids often close browsers immediately when they sense their parents are around them. They are found minimizing the browsers so they can hide online activities from their parents and do not want them to know about anything.
Hiding or Deleting Messages, Photos, and Videos
Another smart way most teens adopt to hide their activities from parents is deleting or hiding messages, photos, and videos from their devices. If they have received an inappropriate photo, video, or text message on their phone from someone and they do not want their parents to come across it, they either choose to hide or delete it from their phone right away.
Using Private Browsing Mode
Teens have become so smart and tech-savvy these days that they use private browsing modes such as Incognito and InPrivate to hide their internet browsing from parents. These private browsing modes allow kids to browse the internet without having to fear being tracked by parents. They usually use private browsing modes when they want to visit inappropriate sites or watch unsuitable content without their parents knowing.
Creating Private Email IDs and Social Media Accounts
Teens are found extremely particular about their online behaviour. They do not want anyone to know what they are doing online, especially on their social media accounts. Most teens often create private email addresses and social media accounts to keep their online activities hidden from their parents. It has been reported that many teens maintain two Instagram accounts: one for family and the other one exclusively for friends. The same goes for other internet services such as Gmail, Facebook, Snapchat, etc.
Lying About Online Activities
Often kids lie about online activities to their parents. For instance, they would be using a private Snapchat account on their device but would not tell their parents about it. They will also start lying about online activities when their parents become suspicious of them.
Using Proxy Sites
Using proxy sites is another advanced method teens use to hide online activities from their parents. This method is used by teens who are more tech-savvy and are clever enough to find ways around parental controls. Young kids may not be able to use this method as it would be a bit complicated for them. In case a teen has been forbidden from visiting a certain site, they can simply open the proxy site and type that website’s URL in the search bar, and access it. This way teens can access that site without leaving any trace behind for parents.
What Parents Can Do
Surely, kids and teens may be smart enough to find their ways around parental controls set up by parents but still, they cannot overshadow their parents. No matter how wise and smart kids may become, they will remain kids for parents.
Parents can use several different ways to learn how to track a phone of their kid. They can either enable parental controls on the device their kid is using or install a third-party app (cell phone monitoring app) to spy on their kid’s online activity without them knowing.
Enabling parental controls and installing cell phone spy apps are the most effective ways you can keep an eye on your kid’s online activities and protect them from harmful online threats such as viewing inappropriate content, interacting with online predators, experiencing cyberbullying, engaging in sexting, etc.
When you have put parental controls or monitoring apps in place, you can know about every activity taking place on your kid’s device. From phone calls to text messages to emails to instant chats to social media activity to web browsing history to location, you can keep a watch on everything going on in your kid’s life.
Therefore, when you feel your kid is hiding something from you or keeping their online activities from you, it’s better to install parental control apps on their devices to be aware of everything. However, you should not neglect the importance of having a heart-to-heart and honest conversation with your kids. Make sure you allow your kids to be open with you and discuss their matters with you. Your relationship with your kids should be such that they should reach to you when they face any problem on the internet and seek guidance from you.