Teens more safety conscious than previously thought: Study

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Washington, Jun 25 (ANI): An Internet survey has shown that teens may be a bit more safety conscious than previously thought.

The survey, released by Cox Communications, and carried out by Harris Interactive, asked 655 13- to 18-year-olds about their online and cell phone behaviour, specifically addressing issues of cyberbullying and sexting.

For the purposes of the study, cyberbullying was defined as "harassment, embarrassment, or threats online or by text message," while sexting referred to "sending sexually suggestive text or e-mails with nude or nearly-nude photos."

Not surprisingly, the vast majority of teens (72 percent) have a social-networking profile, while 73 percent use cell phones and 91 percent have an e-mail address.

The study raises an interesting contradiction. Fifty-nine percent of the teens say that posting personal information or photos on public blogs or social-networking sites is either "somewhat unsafe" or "very unsafe".

Only 7 percent say it's "very safe", while 34 percent say it's "somewhat safe".

Yet, when asked about their own behaviour, 62 percent of the kids post photos of themselves, 50 percent share their real age, 45 percent the name of their school, and 41 percent the city where they live.

When it comes to more private information, only 4 percent post their address, 9 percent "places where you typically go", and 14 percent post their cell phone number.

"Though they are aware of the risks, many teens expose personal information about themselves online anyway," CBS News quoted the study's executive summary as explaining.

The study was in partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and "America's Most Wanted Host" John Walsh. (ANI)

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