Teens are engaging in risky behavior online but that parents and guardians can have an impact on that behavior, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children says. One-third of teens surveyed say they are considering meeting face-to-face with someone they’ve met from the Internet and 14% say they’ve already had such an encounter. 61% of 13-to 17-year-olds have a personal profile on sites such as MySpace, Friendster, or Xanga. Half have posted pictures of themselves online.
14% have actually met face-to-face with a person they had known only through the Internet (9% of 13-to 15-year-olds and 22% of 16-to 17-year-olds). 30% have considered meeting someone they’ve only communicated with online. 71% reported receiving messages online from someone they don’t know. 45% have been asked for personal information by someone they don’t know. When teens receive messages online from someone they don’t know, 40% usually reply to and chat with that person. Only 18% said they tell a parent or guardian that they received a message from someone they don’t know.
33% of 13-to 17-year-olds reported that their parents or guardians know “very little” or “nothing” about what they do on the Internet. 48% of 16-to 17-year-olds said their parents or guardians know “very little” or “nothing” about their online activities.