Surprising ways teens are getting around their parents online

Posted at 10:02 AM, Mar 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-08 14:07:51-05

(WXYZ) — More than half of American parents check their teen's online activity, according to a report by Pew Research Center.

Researchers found that "when it comes to monitoring their child's digital use and interactions, parents tend to take a hands-on approach to monitoring what their children do."

According to their data:

  • 61% of parents say they have ever checked which websites their teen visits.
  • 60% have ever checked their teen’s social media profiles.
  • 56% have ever friended or followed their teen on Facebook, Twitter or some other social media platform.
  • 48% have ever looked through their teen’s phone call records or text messages.

In terms being able to access their teen's mobile and online accounts, the report found:

  • 48% of parents know their teen's email account.
  • 43% know the password to their teen's cellphone.
  • 35% know the password to at least one of their teen's social media accounts.

But Bark -- a parental control app helping keep children safe online -- have shared a few surprising ways teens get around their parents online.

The latest tech being used is Google Docs.

Bark says the online document tool "allows collaborators to communicate with each other without record of a text message, making it near impossible for parents to monitor."

Users can invite as many people as they want to join the conversation, share photos and quickly delete them -- essentially creating a chat room.

Other methods include:

  • AirDrop to send notes and photos to one another via iOS devices.
  • Shared Twitter accounts where both users can privately direct message using the same login information.
  • Evolving slang such as "school bus" to discuss drugs like Xanax.

Click here for resources on how to keep tabs on your teen's online activity.