Teens: We Can Handle Online Privacy Ourselves

By Tim Sohn 

Generally, many teenagers figure out how to set up online privacy settings on their own, according to a study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. However, about 70 percent of the teens — ages 12 to 17 — said that they have asked for advice at some point, predominantly from friends or family members, or they have sought it out online.

The survey, which was conducted in partnership with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard, included interviews with 802 parents and their teenage children between July 26 and Sept. 30, 2012. Additionally, several in-person focus group interviews focusing on social media were conducted from February to April 2013 in Boston; Los Angeles; Santa Barbara, Calif.; and Greensboro, N.C.

The report is the fourth in a partnership with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard.

According to the report:

• 42 percent have asked friends;
• 41 percent have asked a parent;
• 37 percent have asked a sibling or cousin;
• 13 percent have turned to websites;
• 9 percent have reached out to a teacher; and
• 3 percent have looked into online privacy with other people or resources.

Here are more details:

Teens online privacy


























Girls (75 percent) were more likely to seek help from their parents when it comes to online privacy, according to the report, as opposed to 66 percent of boys. In addition, 12- and 13-year-olds were more likely to ask for help than 14- to 17-year-olds.

Based on the focus group interviews, most teens overall set their Facebook profile to fully or partially private. However, teens who have sought out online privacy advice are more likely to limit who can see what content on Facebook.

More details:

Teens online privacy