TRUSTe, provider of the leading privacy trustmark, has announced the results of a survey of parents and their teenagers on social networking behaviors – the first national social networking privacy survey to be conducted on both parents and their teens that also measures parental expectations against actual teen behavior.
The poll included responses from two thousand parents and teenagers to reveal: their level of involvement with social networks; perceptions and concerns about their privacy when using social networks; and parental monitoring and engagement with their teens on social networks.
The study is titled “The Kids are Alright,” as it reflects in many ways parents and teens doing the right things on social networks. Overall, the survey suggests that parents and teens are doing a number of the right activities to protect their privacy:
- 80 percent of parents and 78 percent of teens feel in control of their personal information on social networking sites;
- 84 percent of parents are confident their teen is responsible with personal information on a social networking site;
- 72 percent of parents surveyed monitor their teens’ accounts, with 50 percent of these parents monitoring weekly, 35 percent daily and 10 percent monthly; and,
- 84 percent of parents are accurate in understanding the amount of time their teen spends on social networks and generally have a good understanding of the activities they are engaged in online.
However, teens are still engaging in potentially harmful activities:
- 18 percent of teens have been embarrassed or disciplined as a result of a posting;
- 80 percent of teens use privacy settings at some point to hide content from certain friends and/or parents; and,
- 68 percent of teens surveyed have at some time accepted friend invites from people they don’t know, with 8 percent accepting all, 34 percent accepting some, and 26 percent accepting rarely.
Facebook clearly dominates as the leading social networking site with a whopping 95 percent of parents and 90 percent of teens with a social networking account using the popular site.
Within households where both the adult and teen reported Facebook accounts, one-third of teens surveyed said they helped open and set up the account for one or both of their parents, and most of those teens are friends with their parents, with more girls friending parents than boys.
Teens also engaged in more social networking activities than parents, such as chatting, playing games, sharing online content and taking quizzes and on average have a larger number of Facebook friends.