Survey Finds Teens Know And Care About Online Privacy

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online privacy

Contrary to popular mythology, a survey from the Pew Research Center and Harvard’s Berkman Center found that “American teenagers ages 12 to 17 care about their privacy.”

The study, Where Teens Seek Online Privacy Advice, involved a representative sample of 802 teens and 802 parents of teens as well as focus groups involving 156 teens.

About control

Even though young people do tend to share a lot online, “they also take steps to manage what can be seen and who can access it,” according to the report. In other words, it’s about control.

The study also found that 70% of teens have reached out for advice on how to manage their online privacy and, perhaps to the surprise of some adults, parents and peers are about equal when it comes to who they’re likely to reach out to for help.

42% have asked a friend or peer for advice on managing their privacy online
41% have asked a parent
37% have asked a sibling or cousin
13% have gone to a website for advice1
9% have asked a teacher
3% have gone to some other person or resource
Yet, in focus groups, the researchers found that many teens “draw on their own wits, observations and knowledge to manage their privacy online and on social media.” They figure out the settings on their own by looking through menus and settings on social networking services and apps.