Teens' Online Safety Improved by Education, Research Shows

Nov 21, 2008

Think protecting young teenagers on the Internet is important? Then be sure they think it's important, too, according to a forthcoming article in IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication.

Researchers from the University at Buffalo and University of Maryland surveyed 285 preteens and early teenagers, both male and female, to determine how important they felt it was to protect their privacy online and if those beliefs affected what actions they took to protect that privacy.

Students were asked whether they protected their personal information on the Internet, whether they opened e-mails from unknown senders and whether they downloaded files from unknown people or Web sites.

The researchers found that preteens and early teenagers who were educated on the importance of Internet privacy through school, parents or the media were more likely to practice online safety than those who weren't.

Furthermore, among teachers, peers and parents, the researchers found that parents were the most influential.

A surprising result of the study was that experiencing a privacy breach online did not cause teens to improve their online safety practices, according to one of the researchers, H. R. Rao, professor of management science and systems in the UB School of Management

"Students who experience Internet privacy breaches or computer security problems show less protective behavior on the Internet," says Rao. "This increases the chances that they will be victims again in the future."

The study also showed that girls tend to practice more protective behavior on the Web than boys. The researchers believe this is because girls consider online privacy more important than boys do.

Provided by University at Buffalo

Explore further: Education Dept awards $75M in innovation grants

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

California bans paparazzi drones

4 hours ago

California on Tuesday approved a law which will prevent paparazzi from using drones to take photos of celebrities, among a series of measures aimed at tightening protection of privacy.

IT student seeks to help mitigate risks of Google Glass

Sep 26, 2014

As online data breaches continue to challenge companies' and consumers' trust in cybersecurity, UC information-technology major Marina Grebenshchikova is exploring the risks associated with ever-evolving ...

Recommended for you

Research band at Karolinska tuck Dylan gems into papers

Sep 29, 2014

(Phys.org) —A 17-year old bet among scientists at the Karolinska Institute has been a wager that whoever wrote the most articles with Dylan quotes before they retired would get a free lunch. Results included ...

A simulation game to help people prep for court

Sep 25, 2014

Preparing for court and appearing before a judge can be a daunting experience, particularly for people who are representing themselves because they can't afford a lawyer or simply don't know all the ropes ...

When finding 'nothing' means something

Sep 25, 2014

Scientists usually communicate their latest findings by publishing results as scientific papers in journals that are almost always accessible online (albeit often at a price), ensuring fast sharing of latest ...

User comments : 0