You’ve got mail, and your daughter already read it. A study by the Girl Scout Research Institute asked teenage girls to say what they could do online without their parents’ knowledge. More than half (57 percent) said they could read their parents’ e-mail. Of interest to e-tailers: 38 percent of the girls said they could covertly buy things online. If parents are oblivious to such possibilities, perhaps it’s because they chiefly fear their online girls “might be meeting strangers who are perverts”—a worry voiced by 36 percent of the mothers and fathers. Or it might simply be that the old folks aren’t as techno-aware as their kids. Asked to pick the “savviest computer user in your household,” 58 percent of the teenage girls cited themselves, 14 percent named their mothers and 11 percent chose their fathers.
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