Students are Often More Savvy About Online Privacy than their Adult Counterparts

Today, MindShift highlights just how savvy and aware tweens and teens are about what they’re sharing online. While they spend a lot of time online, they re aware of the risks and tend to make ‘fairly sophisticated’ decisions about who they are interacting with online, what others may see, and what they post. Students are aware of the multiple levels of privacy settings and conscious of what they are putting out for others to see.

young adults are more wary of the “known other” – parents, school teachers, classmates, etc. – for fear of “the potential for the known others to share embarrassing information about them”; 83 percent of the sample group cited at least one known other they wanted to maintain their privacy from; 71 percent cited at least one known adult. Strikingly, seven out of the 10 participants who reported an incident when their privacy was breached said it was “perpetrated by known others.”

Another interesting point about the article is that the overwhelming majority of children get the understanding of the importance of privacy from the adults in their lives – parents, teachers, counselors, etc. Therefore, adults (especially those in authority) have an incredibly important role in educating children about Digital Citizenship and Digital Footprints.

I highly recommend the article at MindShift: “What Do Kids Know About Online Privacy? More Than you Think!” It contains incredibly valuable research and up to date survey data on what children are doing online!


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