Where Teens Seek Online Privacy Advice

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-Full report-

Author(s):   Pew Research Center

  • Amanda Lenhart Senior Researcher - Director of Teens and Technology Initiatives, Pew Internet Project
  • Mary Madden - Senior Researcher, Pew Internet Project
  • Sandra Cortesi - Fellow, Director of the Youth and Media Project, Berkman Center for Internet & Society
  • Urs Gasser - Executive Director, Berkman Center for Internet & Society
  • Aaron Smith - Senior Researcher, Pew Internet Project

Published: August 15th, 2013

Report Intro/Brief:
"American teenagers ages 12 to 17 care about their privacy. Even as youth share increasing amounts of information online (and have information about them shared by others), they also take steps to manage what can be seen and who can access it. This report asks the questions: Who do teens rely on when working their way through the privacy choices that confront them each time they go online? And when they reach a point where they need outside help, where do teens turn for advice about how to manage their privacy online? These questions have great relevance for those who want to understand who or what influences teens as they make choices about what to share and what not to share online.

In order to fully understand how teens are managing their privacy online, this project collected data in two modes – first, through a nationally-representative telephone survey fielded in the summer of 2012, and second, through a series of focus group interviews with adolescents around the country. As our focus groups show, for their day-to-day privacy management, teens generally rely on themselves to figure out the practical aspects of sharing and settings on their own. The bulk of teens are figuring out how to manage their privacy themselves, whether by being walked through their choices by the app or platform when they first sign up, or through search and use of their preferred platform. However, the national survey shows that, at some point, the majority of teens have found themselves in a situation where they needed some outside advice about how to manage their privacy online."
-from the report