Social media privacy awareness is increasing among Americans, according to a new study. However in the battle of the sexes, women trump men when it comes to locking down the privacy of profiles.
The Pew Internet & American Life Project released a new report that details trends in privacy management on social media sites in 2011 compared to 2009. Pew surveyed 2,277 adults, age 18 and over.
According to the report, "As social media use has become a mainstream activity, there has been an increasingly polarized public debate about whether or not 'privacy' can be dismissed as a relic in the information age." The report addresses new data surrounding the privacy settings people choose for their social networking profiles.
In 2011, almost two-thirds of adults (63 percent) reported they currently maintain a profile on a social networking site, which is up from just 20 percent in 2006. A majority of those (58 percent) say they have their privacy settings set to private so only their friends can see it, while 19 percent say friends of their friends can view it and 20 percent say their profile is completely public.
Women, however, are significantly more apt than men to keep their profiles private. Sixty-seven percent of female profile owners restrict access to friends only, compared to 48 percent of male profile owners. Men, though, are more likely than women to choose partially private settings (23 percent versus 16 percent) or fully public settings (26 percent versus 14 percent).