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Teens manage their online identities

Pew Internet & American Life Project today published a new report (pdf) called “Teens, Privacy and Online Social Networks: How teens manage their online identities and personal information in the age of MySpace”. The report talks about what kind of information teens share on social networks and what they keep hidden from strangers (and/or parents).

“Many teens post their first name and photos on their profiles, they rarely post information on public profiles they believe would help strangers actually locate them such as their full name, home phone number or cell phone number.”

Of those whose profile can be accessed by anyone online, nearly half (46%) say they give at least some false information. Other interesting findings about the teens with online profils are:

– 82% of profile creators have included their first name in their profiles
– 79% have included photos of themselves.
– 61% have included the name of their city or town.
– 49% have included the name of their school.
– 29% have included their email address.
– 29% have included their last names.
– 2% have included their cell phone numbers.
– 6% of online teens and 11% of profile-owning teens post their first and last names on publicly-accessible profiles;
– 3% of online teens and 5% of profile-owning teens disclose their full names, photos of themselves and the town where they live in publicly-viewable profiles.

As a result, 63% of teens with profiles believe that a motivated person could eventually identify them.

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