Three out of four teens overshare personal information that can make them more vulnerable to online crime, according to the results of a survey released today by LifeLock, Inc. (NYSE: LOCK), an industry leader in identity theft protection.
The recent survey asked more than 700 teens ages 13 to 17 about their online and social networking habits and assessed their awareness of, and engagement in, potentially risky behavior.
Many teens share data that can leave them susceptible to identity theft and other dangers. Several types of personal information are being shared too often:
- 29% of those surveyed said they display their full date of birth online; 33% said they display part of their birth date, such as the month and year
- 23% reveal part of their home address and 6% show the full address
- 63% share the name of the school they attend
While they’re aware of the danger of oversharing, they don’t think they’re the worst offenders: Only 11% say they reveal too much about themselves, while 46% say their friends share too much.
“With 75% of teenagers including some type of personal information on their social media profiles, it’s clear that they don’t understand the potential danger of oversharing,” said Hilary Schneider, President of LifeLock. “As parents we need to engage in regular conversations with our teens about online behavior and set boundaries.”
Schneider suggests that parents explain identity theft and other online crimes to their teens, discuss the risks, and have thoughtful conversations about smart ways to be safe while being active in social media.
“With identity theft and other crimes increasingly aimed at teens, the time for parents and educators to take action is now,” said Schneider, who herself is a parent of teenagers. “We can no longer avoid the problem. It’s only likely to worsen in the months ahead.”