Seven in 10 social media users 18-29 years old said they changed their privacy settings in fall 2009, according to a report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Sixty-two percent of respondents 30-49 years old said they changed their privacy options, and 55 percent of those 50-64 years old had altered their settings.
“Search engines and social media sites now play a central role in building one’s identity online,” Mary Madden, senior research specialist and lead author of the report, said in a statement.
“Many users are learning and refining their approach as they go–changing privacy settings on profiles, customizing who can see certain updates and deleting unwanted information about them that appears online.”
The percentage of Americans concerned about identity protection on social media sites such as Facebook has dropped in recent years, according to the Pew survey. Thirty-three percent of respondents in the 2009 survey said they “worry about how much information is available about them online,” down from 40 percent in 2006.
Only 4 percent of respondents to the Pew study said they had a “bad experience because embarrassing or inaccurate information was posted about them online,” identical to the 2006 response. About 8 percent of survey respondents said they had requested that personal online information be removed, down slightly from 6 percent in 2006.
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