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Americans Worry About Personal Information On Social Networking Sites

Saturday, December 11, 2010

One-out-of-two Americans now use some sort of social networking site such as Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn or Twitter, but an overwhelming majority of Adults are concerned about the safety of personal information on these sites.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 50% of American Adults say they now belong to a social networking site. Forty-eight percent (48%) do not. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

In January 2009, just 29% said they belonged to a social networking site such as Myspace, Facebook or LinkedIn. That survey did not mention Twitter in the question. 

Adults 40 and under are much more likely to be members of such sites than those who are older.

Eighty-six percent (86%) of those who belong to social networking sites say they use them primarily for personal reasons. Just 12% rely on them chiefly for business.

But 82% of all Americans are at least somewhat concerned about the security of personal information posted on the social networking sites, including 52% who are Very Concerned. Just 16% are not very or not at all concerned about the safety of this information.

Women are more concerned than men. Older adults worry more about the security of this information than younger Americans do.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults nationwide was conducted on December 8-9, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.


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