There appears to be a significant disconnect between what today's youth are doing online and what their parents believe they're doing.

Townsquare Media

According to a new study from McAfee, 80 percent of parents don't know how to monitor their child's activities online. More than 60 percent don't believe their children can get into trouble using the Internet.

At the same time, nearly half of the children surveyed said they would change their online behavior if they knew their parents were watching.

The study's details reveal that many parents have basically given up on governing their kids' online habits. Nearly three-quarters of parents said they don't have the time or energy to do so. A similar percentage said they're overwhelmed by today's technology.

"This is ultimately leading to their kids getting in trouble," said McAfee Online Security Expert Robert Siciliano. "Our study showed that while 86 percent of youth believe that social sites are safe, they continue to post personal information."

Nearly half of youth have looked up a site that their parents would disapprove of; almost 70 percent admit hiding online activities.

Siciliano said parents need to get involved in their kids' digital lives, if they aren't already.

"That means understanding the devices," he continued. "Be able to navigate the sites to the same degree that their kids are."

Of the tweens surveyed (ages 10-12), 85 percent admitted using Facebook. They are technically not allowed to have a profile until the age of 13, but that barrier can be avoided with just the click of a box.

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