Most kids are well aware of risks, and make fairly sophisticated decisions about privacy settings based on advice and information from their parents, teachers, and friends.
They differentiate between people they dont know out in the world (distant strangers) and those they dont know in the community, such as high school students in their hometown (near strangers).
Marisa, for example, a 10-year old interviewed in the study (who technically is not allowed to use Facebook), enjoys participating in virtual worlds and using instant messenger and Facebook to socialize with her friends — and is keenly aware of the risks — especially those related to privacy. Shes doesnt share highly sensitive personal information on her Facebook profile and actively blocks certain people.
A growing body of research suggests that while teens share a great deal online, their willingness to share does not mean that they care little for privacy, the authors write.
In fact, theyre well aware of the importance of protecting their reputation and safety — even their future job prospects...