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Dateline
This teen thought that she was already being smart just by setting her online profile to "private." A new online friend, "19-year-old Matt" shows her otherwise. "Matt" turned out to be Det. Frank Dannahey, who was illustrating online dangers to teens and their parents.
Dateline NBC
updated 4/27/2006 2:14:40 AM ET 2006-04-27T06:14:40

This report airs Dateline NBC Wednesday, April 26

All of Dateline’s predator investigations have been predicated on the idea that teenagers are willing, and sometimes eager, to share very personal information online.

What are kids really up to on the computer? They may not always want to tell you, but they told Dateline in a new nationwide survey.

In a survey conducted by The Intelligence Group, Dateline questioned 500 teenagers across the country, ages 14 to 18, about their computer habits.

When asked if they chat online to people they’ve never met before, an overwhelming majority said “yes,” whether it’s “all the time,” “sometimes,” or “not very often.”

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When asked if someone they’ve met online has wanted to meet them in person, 58 percent said “yes.”

And 29 percent said they’ve had a “scary” experience online.

When asked if they talk about personal information on the Internet— things like aname, a picture, an address, a birthday, about half the teens said “yes.”

We also asked if they did things online they would not want their parents to know about. Again, about half said “yes.”

More than 90 percent told us that they were responsible when they used the computer… but said that they thought friends, classmates, and other teens were not behaving responsibly online.

Below are the results:

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Video: A reality check for parents

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