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Title: Facebook and Youth@SG: Online Privacy and Personal Information Disclosure
Authors: OU MEIMIN
Keywords: Youths, privacy, online privacy, privacy perceptions, parents, SNS
Issue Date: 12-Jul-2010
Citation: OU MEIMIN (2010-07-12). Facebook and Youth@SG: Online Privacy and Personal Information Disclosure. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: With the proliferation of social networking sites (SNS) such as Facebook gaining a foothold in Singaporean youths? daily lives, Singaporean parents and educators are seeking to better understand the different facets of social interaction in SNS. In particular, the issue of youths? safety online has been of interest to parents, policymakers and educators. For the purpose of this study, research questions revolve around two pertinent issues of concern regarding Singaporean youths? usage of Facebook, currently Singapore?s most popular SNS. I seek to understand: i) whether youths are utilizing Facebook?s privacy safeguards, and ii) the extent and nature of personal information revealed in their Facebook profiles. Understanding youths? privacy perceptions based on their privacy safeguards and level of personal information in Facebook, as well as Singaporean parents? online privacy perceptions and knowledge of their children?s levels of information disclosure in Facebook can aid in ascertaining if there exists a difference in attitudes towards online privacy and personal information disclosure between Singaporean parents and youths. Ascertaining this will in turn aid in bridging the differences in perceptions, if any, between parents and their teenage children, thus facilitating discussions when parents guide their teenage children in online safety. Results from the study will also provide valuable input when formulating policies and planning online safety campaigns. Results from the two-pronged approach of content analysis and online surveys indicate that Singaporean parents are generally aware of their teenage children?s habits and level of personal information disclosure. Both Singaporean parents and youths are privacy-oriented, but youths are willing to compromise some privacy in order to allow their peers understand them better via Facebook. Youths are aware and do utilize Facebook?s privacy safeguards but there exists a disparity between what they think they know and what they actually know about the privacy settings which should be noted. In terms of the extent and level of personal information disclosure, Singaporean youths reveal more personal information in their public profiles than private profiles. However, they are also more discerning about the types of personal information they reveal in Facebook and utilize creative methods to mask their personal information. My findings indicate that there is no great disparity in privacy perceptions between Singaporean parents and youths and that there is already ongoing dialogue between parents and youths online safety. This creates a conducive environment for parents to discuss with their youths about online safety without intruding into youths? practices of identity management in Facebook.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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