A survey by anti-virus company McAfee of 615 teenagers across six European countries found that 40 percent are unconcerned by the risks of viruses and other threats when downloading music or video content. Over half (56 percent) regularly use file sharing sites like Kazaa and Limewire.
The survey also revealed there is apathy and ignorance among teens over computer security that places their data at risk from cyber criminals.
Just under a quarter (24 percent) don't worry about internet security when they go online and nearly a third (30 percent) rarely check to see if their security software is up to date. The research also found that 21 percent of these teenagers are entrusted with keeping the family PC secure.
"Teens are advanced and heavy internet users but, as this research shows, they do not fully appreciate the consequences of online threats," said Sarah Whipp, senior director of marketing, McAfee, Europe, Middle East and Asia. "Parents need to understand the potential risks of having their children online, whether this is lost or stolen personal content or their own personal safety online, and educate them how to use the internet responsibly and carefully."