How Teens Cover Their Online Tracks

(KUTV) Salt Lake City - If you have a teen, they're likely trying to hide what they're doing online. Rob Schroader from Paraben Consumer Software joined Kari on Fresh Living to share how teens are covering their online tracks, and what parents can do about it.

When it comes to online activity, it's easy to cover one's tracks. Everything is connected: If you have restricted your teen from using the computer, consider that they may have online access through a number of other devices such as gaming consoles, cell phones, and even smart TVs or devices like Roku or Amazon Fire TV sticks. These devices have full web browsers and the same apps you'll find on smart phones such as Facebook, Instagram, etc.

How Teens are Hiding What They're Doing Online:

  • Incognito Mode: When it comes to web browsers, they all have the ability to leave no trace of activity behind. It used to be easy to see online activity through browser history, cookies, and cache files such as images that were downloaded from web browsing. Now, all one has to do is open a private browsing tab and none of that data is recorded.
  • Deleting Data: It's easy to delete files and even messages from computers and smart phones. Most people have heard that when data is deleted, it's not really gone. This can often be the case but sometimes, it's impossible to recover the deleted data. Paraben Consumer Software offers tools to recover deleted data from computers and cell phones but nothing can get every bit of data that has ever been deleted.
  • Hiding Data: Computer savvy teens can easily hide photos, videos, and even apps. Hiding data can be done using everything from simply putting photos into a zip file and hiding that deep into the computer to actually encrypting folders so they can't be opened without the proper password to even using file hiding apps on smart phones that look like calculator apps.

Unfortunately, there isn't a lot a parent can do about most of these other than be aware that these methods are being used to hide activity. Parents can randomly check the browser being used to see if private browsing is being used. They can also try recovering deleted data and looking in recent documents to see what files/folders are being accessed.

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