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Youth understandings of online privacy and security: A dyadic study of children and their parents

Published

Author(s)

Olivia Williams, Yee-Yin Choong, Kerrianne Buchanan

Abstract

With youth increasingly accessing and using the internet, it is important to understand what they know about online privacy and security (OPS), and from where they gain this knowledge in order to best support their learning and online practices. Currently, the field of literature surrounding such youth understandings has gaps in depth and breadth that we aimed to address in this study. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 40 youth/parent dyads with youth in 3rd-12th grades in the United States to understand more about what youth know about OPS and how their parents attempt to influence this knowledge. We found that youth of all ages in the study could provide at least basic descriptions of both online privacy and online security and could give relevant examples of good and bad OPS choices. We also found that parents took a variety of approaches to influencing youth understandings and behavior, with most of those approaches relying on device monitoring and limiting use. However, parents who attempted to influence their children's knowledge through conversations had children who demonstrated the most nuanced understandings. Our findings offer promising suggestions for parents, technology providers, and future research.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the Nineteenth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security
Conference Dates
August 7-8, 2023
Conference Location
Anaheim, CA, US
Conference Title
Nineteenth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security

Keywords

Youth, Parents, Online Privacy, Online Security, Usable Security, Dyads

Citation

Williams, O. , Choong, Y. and Buchanan, K. (2023), Youth understandings of online privacy and security: A dyadic study of children and their parents, Proceedings of the Nineteenth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security, Anaheim, CA, US, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=934521 (Accessed June 22, 2024)

Issues

If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact reflib@nist.gov.

Created August 7, 2023, Updated August 14, 2023