The Online Cheating Problem

By Robert Siciliano

In today’s always connected world, kids have information at their fingertips for homework and studying. But your kids might also be using that information in deceitful ways. According to McAfee’s 2013 Digital Deception: Exploring the Online Disconnect between Parents and Kids study, children are continuing to find ways to use technology to cheat, while only half of the parents of cheating kids believe they had done so.

Some of the study’ key findings include:
It’s a bigger problem than you think – More than half of all 13-23 year olds surveyed admitted to looking up the answer to a test or assignment online.

Smart phones are making us dumber – While only 10 percent of 10-12 year olds said that they had cheated on a test using a cell phone, this percentage doubles when looking at the 18-23 age group.

The Internet is teaching kids things you don’t want them to know – Site, after online site, gives step-by-step ways kids can cheat on tests. Unfortunately more than 1 in 10 youth in the survey had used a cheating technique found online on a test.

What parents can do –
• Become familiar with the complexities of the teen online universe.
• Stay educated on the various devices your teens are using.
• Talk to your kids about what is and is not appropriate behavior online.
• Consider using tools to support family Internet rules.

Robert Siciliano is McAfee’s online security expert.