Latino kids more likely to ask about online privacy

Latino teens, whose Internet access is sometimes difficult, are more likely to ask others about online privacy, but less likely to ask their parents, according to a report.

Elaine Rita Mendus | August 20, 2013 | 10:11 am

Up to 70% of teens from 12-17 years old seek out advice about online privacy, according to a study from the Pew Internet Center. They tend to be equally split among asking either their peers or their parents — which could pose a problem for Latinos, whose peers, and parents, might not be as Internet savvy as others.

Overall, 70% of teenagers in the 12 to 17 year-old age range have sought advice about dealing with their privacy online: 42% are likely to ask their peers, while 41% are inclined to ask their parents. 37% have asked a sibling, 13% have gone to websites, 9% to teachers, and 3% to some other person.

The percentages vary along with age, gender, race, parent education, and household income. In general, teens in the 12 to 13 year-old age range, as well as girls, seem more inclined to ask anyone (including parents). In the 14 to 17 year-old range, though, these numbers for asking parents generally seem to drop below 50%; but there is still a curiosity as to how to manage Internet privacy. When it comes to race, education, and household income, things get a little more interesting, and divisive.

73% of Hispanics are curious about online privacy and seek advice from others, including parents,  and are marginally more curious than whites at 70%. Only 61% of blacks seek this same information. When it comes to seeking this information specifically from parents, though, the numbers take a steep dive. Only 33% of Hispanics inquire with their parents for Internet privacy advice, slightly more than black teens — only 25% of black teens seek parental advice with privacy. 46% of whites, though, seek advice from their parents.

Whether teens will ask their parents for help with Internet privacy depends upon their parent’s education as well. Of teens whose parents only had high school or less than high school education, only 33% will seek out their parents; 67% of this population will inquire with people though for help with their online privacy. In contrast to this low population, about half (48%) of teens whose parents have had a college, or higher, education will ask them for advice with privacy on the Internet. 76% of those kids, though, will ask around for advice with Internet privacy.

Likewise, household income generally repeats the same trends that education shows. Teens in households that make more money tend to be more likely to ask their parents, or anybody about privacy.

The connected focus groups with the study suggested that many teens were self-reliant, and either able to figure out privacy settings on their own, or through website tutorials. Some of the teens suggested that their parents might be too old school, or that they might not know how the Internet works. However, there definitely seems to be a trend through the numbers when it comes to income level and education – and Latinos would likely be impacted.

An earlier article posted on Más Wired about California broadband access showed that Latinos, in contrast to whites, were often unable to connect to the Internet through computers at home due to cost, as well as an inability to use the Internet for various reasons. The problems with income hampering the ability to have access to either a computer or a stable connection, as well as a size able portion of the Latino population being unable to learn how to use it or finding it difficult suggests that Latino parents in particular might truly be unable to help their kids with privacy concerns due to a lack of knowledge.

Meanwhile 40% of the surveyed Latinos in that report responded that they were “very worried” about their children’s safety online.

The Pew Internet study can be read in full here.

[Image Via Picture Youth]

About Elaine Rita Mendus (50 Posts)

Elaine Rita Mendus is a undergraduate student working on graduating college (someday soon). Her career interests include geopolitics, the Hispanic community, and urban planning. She really wouldn't mind ending up a scriptwriter though...

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