CHILDREN’S INFORMATION DISCLOSURE TENDENCIES ON SOCIAL NETWORKS

Kürşat ÇAĞILTAY, Ömer Faruk İSLİM, Duygu Nazire KAŞIKÇI, Engin KURŞUN, Türkan KARAKUŞ YILMAZ

Abstract


This descriptive study aims to identify children’s information disclosure tendency in social network environments, their social network use habits and potential risky behaviors. The study was conducted in Turkey's three largest cities (Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir), and data were gathered with survey through face-to-face meetings with randomly selected 524 children between 9 and 16 years old who used social networks, and their parents. The survey consisted total of 38 Likert-type questions that 25 of them were asked to child in order to learn about their social network memberships and habits, and 13 of them were asked to parents in order to collect data about their demographics. Data were analyzed to make descriptive and comparative analysis to see tendencies of children while using SNs and some factors influencing information disclosure. Results show that as children’s age increases, the amount of Internet usage also increases. The most frequently used social network site is Facebook. Although the minimum age to create a profile on most social network sites is 13, results show that nearly half of the children who reported having a profile were younger than that. Most of the children share personal information such as mobile telephone numbers, home addresses and names of family members with anyone who accessed the networking site. The researchers suggest that parent’s and children’s awareness should be raised about the use of social networks to prevent the potential negative consequences of sharing private information. Moreover, social network developers must take necessary actions to protect children’s online privacy.


Keywords


Social network; Facebook; Internet Safety; Online Risks

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