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BizReport : Internet : June 15, 2010


Pew: Youngsters monitor, manage their online reputation

Despite being in their reckless years, young adults are being far more vigilant about their online digital reputations than older generations, according to new data from Pew Research Center.

by Helen Leggatt

pewinternet.gifOlder folk could do with taking a lesson from their younger counterparts when it comes to the digital world. New data shows that older Internet users are less inclined to manage their online reputations.

According to Pew, 71% of social networking users aged 18 to 29 have changed the privacy settings on their profile to limit what they share with others online. However, just 55% of social networking users aged 50 to 64 have done so.

Overall, Internet users are savvier about their online reputation management and the number of people who have used a search engine to look up their name and what information is being listed about them now stands at 57% compared to 47% in 2006.

"Search engines and social media sites now play a central role in building one's identity online," said Mary Madden, senior research specialist at the Internet & American Life Project and lead author of the report.

"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."

It's not just themselves that Internet users monitor. It's becoming increasingly common for people to check the reputation of others online such as those from their past (46%) and their friends (26%).

Tags: online privacy, online reputation, reputation management, social network










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