Anonymity, privacy and security online – 2013 Pew Report

A new survey by Pew Internet reveals that:

  • 86% of internet users have taken steps online to remove or mask their digital footprints—ranging from clearing cookies to encrypting their email.
  • 55% of internet users have taken steps to avoid observation by specific people, organizations, or the government.
  • 21% of internet users have had an email or social networking account compromised or taken over by someone else without permission.
  • 12% have been stalked or harassed online.
  • 11% have had important personal information stolen such as their Social Security Number, credit card, or bank account information.
  • 6% have been the victim of an online scam and lost money.
  • 6% have had their reputation damaged because of something that happened online.
  • 4% have been led into physical danger because of something that happened online.

Although the survey was completed in the United States, there’s certainly transfer of thoughts and anxieties that affect Australians as well. Read the whole report here.

Teenagers, social media and privacy

The recently released 2013 Pew Report section on teenagers, social media and privacy has unearthed some interesting details:

  • 24% of  online teenagers now use Twitter
  • 80% use some kind of social media
  • 77% of online teens use Facebook
  • Some teenagers don’t see Twitter as social media
  • 75% of social media users check their accounts daily

Read the whole report here.

Facebook a necessary ‘burden’ for teenagers

Far from being the ultimate way to connect with peers, young adults are now viewing Facebook use as a ‘necessary burden‘.

Facebook has become a “social burden” for teens, write the authors of the Pew report. “While Facebook is still deeply integrated in teens’ everyday lives, it is sometimes seen as a utility and an obligation rather than an exciting new platform that teens can claim as their own.”

How do you view Facebook? Do you feel that you’ll miss out?

Parents, teens and online privacy: the Pew Report 2012

Although the Pew Report is US in origin, it is a useful tool to gauge how teenagers and parents use and view the internet and their online privacy.

  • 81% of parents of online teens say they are concerned about how much information advertisers can learn about their child’s online behavior, with some 46% being “very” concerned.
  • 72% of parents of online teens are concerned about how their child interacts online with people they do not know, with some 53% of parents being “very” concerned.
  • 69% of parents of online teens are concerned about how their child’s online activity might affect their future academic or employment opportunities, with some 44% being “very” concerned about that.
  • 69% of parents of online teens are concerned about how their child manages his or her reputation online, with some 49% being “very” concerned about that.
  • Some of these expressions of concern are particularly acute for the parents of younger teens; 63% of parents of teens ages 12-13 say they are “very” concerned about their child’s interactions with people they do not know online and 57% say they are “very” concerned about how their child manages his or her reputation online.

View the summary of findings here or download the full report here.

Teens, kindness and cruelty on social network sites

Pew Internet (“The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan “fact tank” that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world.”) released a report on 9 November on Teens, kindness and cruelty on social network sites. Although interviewees were American, there are many conclusions the report makes that can apply to young Australians.

  • Fully 95% of all teens ages 12-17 are now online and 80% of those online teens are users of social media sites. Many log on daily to their social network pages and these have become spaces where much of the social activity of teen life is echoed and amplified—in both good and bad ways.
  • Facebook dominates social media use

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  • 88% of social media using teens have seen someone be mean or cruel on a social networking site
  • Only one in five teenagers say they were bullied in the past year. The most common occurrence was in person bullying
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  • Most teenagers say they just ignore the mean behaviour they see on a social media platform
  • Those who have had negative experiences are more likely to have public profiles
  • Parental monitoring: most parents prefer non-technical monitoring
  • Parents see the Internet and mobile phones’ role as a mixed blessing for their teenagers: tech helps their kids to be connected and it can bring distressing things into their lives.

Read the report summary here and the entire report here.