Young People Protect Themselves From You - The UpStream

Young People Protect Themselves From You

posted Sunday May 30, 2010 by Scott Ertz

Young People Protect Themselves From You

With all of the changes Facebook has been making recently and the Buzz about Google Maps, Internet privacy has been a big topic on everyone's mind. The widely held belief was that young people would be uninterested or unmotivated to change their privacy settings to prevent the world from knowing things about them. Well, those people were all wrong, according to a new study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

According to Mary Madden, a researcher for Pew,

Search engines and social media sites now play a central role in building one's identity online. Many users are learning and refining their approach as they go, changing privacy settings on profiles, customizing who can see certain updates and deleting unwanted information about them that appears online. Contrary to the popular perception that younger users embrace a laissez-faire attitude about their online reputations, young adults are often more vigilant than older adults when it comes to managing their online identities.

According to the study, 71% of younger users have changed their privacy settings, while only 55% of older users have. That is a significant difference. Part of it could be that even the most tech savvy users can't figure out how to disable some of Facebook's new "features" leaving those who are more tech challenged stranded. Also, younger users tend to use services like Twitter, Facebook and Buzz more often than the older users and share more information, so there is more to hide, like from their parents.

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