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How safe do teenagers behave on Facebook? An observational study

Ellen Vanderhoven (UGent) , Tammy Schellens (UGent) , Martin Valcke (UGent) and Annelies Raes (UGent)
(2014) PLOS ONE. 9(8).
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  • SPION
Abstract
The substantial use of social network sites by teenagers has raised concerns about privacy and security. Previous research about behavior on social network sites was mostly based on surveys and interviews. Observational research overcomes problems inherent to this research method, for example social desirability. However, existing observational research mostly focuses on public profiles of young adults. Therefore, the current observation-study includes 1050 public and non-public Facebook-profiles of teenagers (13-18) to investigate (1) what kind of information teenagers post on their profile, (2) to what extent they protect this information using privacy-settings and (3) how much risky information they have on their profile. It was found that young people mostly post pictures, interests and some basic personal information on their profile. Some of them manage their privacy-settings as such that this information is reserved for friends’ eyes only, but a lot of information is accessible on the friends-of-friends’ pages. Although general risk scores are rather low, more detailed analyses show that teenagers nevertheless post a significant amount of risky information. Moreover, older teenagers and girls post more (risky) information while there are no differences in applying privacy settings. We found no differences in the Facebook behavior of teenagers enrolled in different education forms. Implications of these results are discussed.
Keywords
observation, social network sites, teenagers, safety, privacy, individual differences, Facebook, risk, SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES, DESIRABILITY, ADOLESCENTS, ATTITUDES, PRIVACY

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Vanderhoven, Ellen et al. “How Safe Do Teenagers Behave on Facebook? An Observational Study.” PLOS ONE 9.8 (2014): n. pag. Print.
APA
Vanderhoven, E., Schellens, T., Valcke, M., & Raes, A. (2014). How safe do teenagers behave on Facebook? An observational study. PLOS ONE, 9(8).
Chicago author-date
Vanderhoven, Ellen, Tammy Schellens, Martin Valcke, and Annelies Raes. 2014. “How Safe Do Teenagers Behave on Facebook? An Observational Study.” Plos One 9 (8).
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Vanderhoven, Ellen, Tammy Schellens, Martin Valcke, and Annelies Raes. 2014. “How Safe Do Teenagers Behave on Facebook? An Observational Study.” Plos One 9 (8).
Vancouver
1.
Vanderhoven E, Schellens T, Valcke M, Raes A. How safe do teenagers behave on Facebook? An observational study. PLOS ONE. 2014;9(8).
IEEE
[1]
E. Vanderhoven, T. Schellens, M. Valcke, and A. Raes, “How safe do teenagers behave on Facebook? An observational study,” PLOS ONE, vol. 9, no. 8, 2014.
@article{5667871,
  abstract     = {The substantial use of social network sites by teenagers has raised concerns about privacy and security. Previous research about behavior on social network sites was mostly based on surveys and interviews. Observational research overcomes problems inherent to this research method, for example social desirability. However, existing observational research mostly focuses on public profiles of young adults. Therefore, the current observation-study includes 1050 public and non-public Facebook-profiles of teenagers (13-18) to investigate (1) what kind of information teenagers post on their profile, (2) to what extent they protect this information using privacy-settings and (3) how much risky information they have on their profile. It was found that young people mostly post pictures, interests and some basic personal information on their profile. Some of them manage their privacy-settings as such that this information is reserved for friends’ eyes only, but a lot of information is accessible on the friends-of-friends’ pages. Although general risk scores are rather low, more detailed analyses show that teenagers nevertheless post a significant amount of risky information. Moreover, older teenagers and girls post more (risky) information while there are no differences in applying privacy settings. We found no differences in the Facebook behavior of teenagers enrolled in different education forms. Implications of these results are discussed.},
  articleno    = {e104036},
  author       = {Vanderhoven, Ellen and Schellens, Tammy and Valcke, Martin and Raes, Annelies},
  issn         = {1932-6203},
  journal      = {PLOS ONE},
  keywords     = {observation,social network sites,teenagers,safety,privacy,individual differences,Facebook,risk,SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES,DESIRABILITY,ADOLESCENTS,ATTITUDES,PRIVACY},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {8},
  pages        = {9},
  title        = {How safe do teenagers behave on Facebook? An observational study},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0104036},
  volume       = {9},
  year         = {2014},
}

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