WASHINGTON (AP) — Lynn Boyden, a college professor in Los Angeles who teaches website design, says she has developed two identities online: a public one for her professional life and a private one that only a few close friends can access. She tries to block advertising trackers when she can and limits what personal data might wind up on public sites.
It's an approach that she says works, although it takes time and attention.
"It's a sliding scale," said Boyden of what information she chooses to share. "Some things are and should be private."
Americans might be sharing more personal information online than ever through social networking sites and email. But they also want to better control who can see it, according to a study released Thursday by the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project.
The study reported that privacy concerns among Americans are on the rise, with 50 percent of Internet users saying they are worried about the information available about them online, up from 33 percent in 2009. Meanwhile, 86 percent of people surveyed have tried at least one technique to hide their activity online or avoid being tracked, such as clearing cookies or their browser history or using encryption.