If you suddenly notice that your parents know things about your social life before you tell them, you might start to suspect that they are reading your emails and private messages. There are some things you can do to protect your privacy.
Find Out if They Really Are Spying
Don’t just accuse your parents of spying on you or they’ll think you have something to hide whether you do or not. You need to think about whether they’re really spying, or whether you’ve done something that has you feeling a little bit paranoid.
Try leaving your messages open to a certain line and checking back later, or leaving certain documents on your screen. When it comes to your diary, put a tiny sliver of paper on a certain page that will fall out when it opens. If you have a certain drawer that you think they’re going into, stack papers in it in a certain way, so that you’ll know if anyone goes through it.
Talk to Your Parents
Find out why they’ve been spying on your online accounts or your diary. Maybe they have concerns about your new love interest, or maybe you’ve been acting differently lately. Give them a chance to voice their concerns and then address them head on. Explain that you feel violated when they access your personal conversations, and that it makes you feel violated.
If you reason with them and let them know that you are willing to discuss everything with them openly and that they have no reason to invade your computer or diary, they might not feel the temptation to go lurking through them.
Offer up Your Passwords
If your life really is an open book and you have nothing to hide, offer up your passwords to your parents. Right now they’re only spying because they think there’s a huge secret that you’re keeping from them that they want to uncover. If you convince them there’s no secret and even give them your passwords, chances are they’ll never use them.
Stop Saving Your Passwords
Saving your passwords might make logging into your favorite websites easier for you, but it also makes it easier for anyone else who wants to login to them from your computer. If you’re using Firefox, they only need to go into your security settings to gain access to all of your saved passwords.
Change Your Passwords
If you are sure that your parents are reading your personal messages, go to all of your email and social networking accounts and change your passwords. Make sure to use at least one uppercase letter, one special character, and one number to make it harder to decode.
If your parents are tech savvy, they can have a keylogger installed on your computer that will give them access to the new password. But, if they aren’t, this will keep them out of your accounts, at least until you accidentally save your passwords again.
Get a Diary with a Lock
Remember when you were younger and you had a really cool diary with a lock? Get another one of those, but replace the lock with one that’s not quite so easy to pick. Also, make sure you have a good hiding place for your diary. Hiding it under your mattress is too obvious. Come up with something more creative.
Remember, until you’re 18 you really don’t have many rights to privacy. If your parents suspect that your well-being might be at stake, they’re going to spy on you, like it or not. It’s best to be honest and open with your parents, so they’ll trust you and won’t feel the need to infringe upon your privacy.