Privacy and Sharing Online Information

Children are becoming more and more comfortable with sharing personal information online, and most of them have no idea of the kind of risks it opens them up to.

A study of teenage blogs published by the Children’s Digital Media Center at Georgetown University revealed that two-thirds of teenage bloggers provide their age and first name; 60 percent offer their location and contact information; and one in five divulge their full name on their sites.28


According to one study, 29% percent of children ages seven to seventeen would freely give out their home address. The percentage that would freely give out their email address is 14%.29

We need to teach our children that information is power, and that the things they post online are visible to the entire world, including bad people who would hurt them. The same is true of adults, but obviously the risks are considerably lower. Still, even adults should be cautious about the amount and type of information they allow to be publicly visible. Ask yourself, “If I read all of this in the New York Times, would I be comfortable with that?” If the answer is, “No,” then you’re sharing too much.

28 Kierkegaard, “Online Child Protection.”
29 Ibid.

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