Last modified: Thursday, July 15, 2010 6:16 PM EDT
Lynn teens say their online behavior safe
By Laura Paine / The Daily ItemLYNN -- Despite findings from one of the leading anti-virus and computer security companies about teens’risky online habits, five Lynn youths interviewed at theBoys and Girls Club at Creighton Pond Day Camp inMiddleton say they have their cyber lives under control.A recent survey by McAfee found 25 percent of teen girlrespondents admitted they communicate with strangersonline; 12 percent of respondents admitted giving their telephone number out online and 14 percent said theyshare their social networking passwords.The report suggests many youths put themselves at risk from online predators, and also expose their computers to viruses, malware and spyware. The survey also found more than one-third of respondentshide their online behavior from parents and 31 percent said they would change their behavior if their parents were watching.The group of Lynn youths, asked to respond to these findings, said they’re confident their online habitsare safe, but know of others who cross the line into risky behavior. Participating in the discussion wereGianni Pippa, Bella diGrazia, Marcus Luna, Marc Healey and Dustin Hornblower.DiGrazia, 14, said she does not know anyone who has met an online friend in real life, but knows thereare people who do. She said she does, however, know friends who share their passwords.“It’s not safe,” she said. “You can’t trust everyone.”Pippa, 13, said she knows the social network password of one of her friends, but the only person whoknows her Facebook password is her mother.DiGrazia and Pippa both said they are friends with their mother on Facebook, while boys in the groupsaid they do not want their parents invading their online privacy.“I don’t want them looking,” Healey, 13, said. “If they know my password then they’ll go lookingthrough my messages and I just don’t want them to see.”Luna said, “It’s just none of their business,” and not because they are trying to hide inappropriate behavior.“We’re teenagers, you know, we’ve gotta have our stuff,” Pippa said.All five teens said they would never add their telephone number to their social network profile.“There are people who are offenders on the Internet and they can do stuff to you,” Luna, 14, said. Participating in a discussion with the Itemabout Internet safety are, clockwise from left,Bella diGrazia, Gianni Pippa, DustinHornblower, Marc Healey and Marcus Luna.