How Teens May Hide Their Online Activities

By Matt Bulkley | Blog Education Series

STAR Guides Wilderness - How Teens May Hide Their Online Activities

Technologies are changing everyday it seems; with new models of gadgets and upgrades for apps coming out regularly, most adults have a hard time keeping up with these advancements. You can bet that this fact doesn’t escape the notice of your teenage children, and they may use this to their advantage.

In our therapy program, we come across many adolescents that have used their knowledge of technology to hide their somewhat ‘illicit’ online activities from their parents. We thought that we should share this information with parents, so as to prevent an oncoming cyber or porn addiction.

Common Ways to Hide Online Activities

First things first, you should accept the fact that your kids may know more about gadgets, apps and the internet than you do, proceed with that in mind.

  • The most common way to hide online activities is by erasing the browsing history after the session.
  • This can be easily found out, because there won’t be any activity on their browser for a specific time period.
  • They may also use a browser’s private browsing mode to conduct their activities, which doesn’t leave any evidence of the sites they visited. Some browsers call this “Incognito” mode.
  • Sudden closing/minimizing of windows, closing the laptop’s or tablet’s screen when you walk in to the room, can be a sign that your teen has something to hide.
  • “Sexting” is something that is becoming a problem for teenagers and a telltale sign of sexting is teens deleting their messages.
  • Teens struggling with internet porn addiction may download videos on to their computers and delete them afterwards.
  • Some parents install restrictive softwares on their kids’ computers, so they may use other computers that don’t have such restrictions.
  • To hide their social media activities from parents, teens create multiple social media accounts. Some teens use the “fake calculator” app which appears to be a simple calculator, but is really a gateway app that teens use to hide more illicit apps such as snapchat or Kix.

It can be difficult to keep track of all the ways that your teens can access inappropriate content online, but you still have to try your best to restrict their access to explicit sites. You can learn how to manage this all with some tutorial videos, which can help learn more about the latest technology.

Another approach would be to hold an open dialogue with your kids’ about their online activities. You have to patient and understanding when you discuss this topic with them. This communication may allow you to teach them what they can and cannot do while surfing the web. If you are a parent of a teenager who is struggling with internet, porn or cybersex addiction, then contact us (800.584.4629) and learn how our program can help such adolescents.

About the Author

Matt is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working in the field of youth treatment and psychotherapy since 1995. He did his undergraduate work at BYU and earned his M.S.W. at the University of Utah. He has worked in a variety of treatment setting in his career ranging from wilderness therapy and residential treatment to outpatient treatment and state government.

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