Youngsters more cautious when it comes to online privacy, new research claims

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Young people are no longer interested in sharing intimate details of their lives with strangers online and are now taking a number of steps to safeguard their privacy on social media, a new research has found.

According to the Market Research Society, teens have now begun to un-tag embarrassing pictures, write false posts to ensure privacy, and even adopt parallel identities in order to keep their personal information under wraps.

The report, carried out by Colin Strong of the MRS Delphi Society, notes about a new phenomenon known as “vague-booking,” whereby teens post vague statements deliberately to prompt friends to private message them.

“There is a universally held view that teenagers simply don’t care enough about online privacy, and this… can have disastrous consequences,” the report reads.

“The reality is that, far from being careless about their privacy, teenagers manage it carefully. They just aren’t so obvious about it.

Jane Frost, chief executive of the MRS, told The Sunday Times that the rise of apps like Snapchat and Guerilla Mail – which erases pictures after a short amount of time – show teenagers are increasingly concerned about what strangers see.

She said on an estimate a third of Twitter users have a private account, only shared with close friends, as well as a public one. She added that youngsters also tend to put out a false name entirely while playing games online.

The findings challenge Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s claims in 2010 that the age of privacy is over- and no longer a ‘social norm.’

“People have really gotten comfortable not sharing information of different kinds, but more openly and with more people. That social norm has just evolved over time,” Zuckerberg had said at that time.