Threatening e-mails and solicitations from online predators rank just as high, with two-thirds of U.S. mothers with kids 13 to 16 years of age, as drunk driving and drugs, in terms of the danger they represent to teenage children, a new survey by Internet security leader McAfee Inc. reveals.

These findings jive with those of another McAfee study, which revealed that 52 per cent of teens have given out personal information to someone online whom they don’t know offline and 34 per cent of teen girls who are active online have given out a photograph or a physical description of themselves to someone they don’t know.

In addition, 32 per cent reported making a habit of clearing the browser cache after they finish a surfing session while 16 per cent reported establishing ‘secret’ Webmail or other online accounts to keep their online activities secret from their parents.

“”As a father of three I certainly worry about what my kids may do and encounter online,” said Dave DeWalt, McAfee president and chief executive officer. “While progress has been made over the past decade to combat online dangers, they remain very real for our kids. Education is a key part of the McAfee Initiative to Fight Cybercrime, which we announced yesterday, because we know that informed parents will mean safer kids online.”

In response to the growing concern among American Moms over online safety. McAfee has appointed Chicago mother of three Tracy Mooney as its first, official Chief Cyber Security mom.

“Through my own experience as the mother of three children, ages 17, 12 and 4 1/2 who are incredibly active online, I know how easy it is for your kids to get into danger online,” said Mooney. “Last year, I found out my son was receiving threatening messages. That experience started me on a path to learn more about all the things I need to do as a parent to keep my kids safe from harm.”

Parents who want to pursue the issue of online safety with their kids can download “McAfee’s 10 Step Internet Safety Plan” e-book for free.

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