A recent report from the Pew Research Center discussed that 1 in 5 girls share their passwords with a friend. Reports indicated that teens who use five or more social sites are most likely to share their password with a friend.
Why would girls share such personal information?
"Because it's a real-life social game." In some groups, girls understand the dangers of sharing their passwords. Although they continue to share passwords to show trust among their peers; in most cases, the girls know it is a game, and are often asked, do you trust me? Their friends are found to be coaxed into sharing their password. A friend may say 'let me log into your account; I'll post the picture for you then log off.
What are the ramifications in sharing your password as a teen?
Teens reported that things could get stolen online; some said different forms of retaliation and bullying from social media after sharing her password. By sharing their passwords, girls are exposing a part of their personal life that they, not want others to see, not even their parents. Therefore, the risk in sharing their password could be very harmful, embarrassing, and possibly shameful.
How to inform teen girls that sharing their password is not worth it?
- Talk with your teens about their social accounts, and explain that nothing should be shared that they would not share in public.
- Talk with your teens about the importance of their privacy and the importance of password protection.
- Try and reiterate the harm that could come from social media sabotage and how this could be harmful.
- Provide examples of what you would not want to happen to your social media account (people posting unflattering pictures or making nasty comments)
Keep in mind that teens are more aware of new social media sites, and as the number of sites increases the likelihood of teens sharing passwords will grow.
If you have questions about social media account privacy or password protection, please email me or leave a comment below.