In November the Pew Center on Internet and American Life together with Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society published a new survey, Parents, Teens, and Online Privacy. This 2012 Teens and Privacy Management Survey gathered data from 802 teens and their parents. Everyone who participated in the survey lived in the United States; however, participants could take the survey in either English or Spanish.
- Parents report they are using a lot more social media — 66% of parents with children who use social media now use it themselves (compared with 58% in the 2011 survey).
- One reason that parents are increasing their use of social media sites is to be able to facilitate ongoing family conversations about content.
- Parents appear to worry more about advertisers who gather information about a child’s online activities than about a child’s possible contact with unfamiliar people.
- Some teens whose parents are friends have learned how to restrict the information that parents see, but in general, they are positive about friending a parent.
- Parents are increasingly aware of privacy policies — 44% have read a policy for a social media that one of their children uses and 39% told the survey that they are helping their children set up social media privacy settings.
- Parents are concerned about a child’s online reputation, but the concerns are the highest as children get closer to applying to college.
- Reputation management, when juxtaposed with the adolescent years, is tricky for teens.