May 27, 2022

Conference Paper: ‘I Make Up a Silly Name’: Understanding Children’s Perception of Privacy Risks Online

The following paper was recently shared on arXiv. It will be presented at the CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2019), May 4–9, 2019, Glasgow, Scotland UK.


‘I Make Up a Silly Name’: Understanding Children’s Perception of Privacy Risks Online


Jun Zhao
University of Oxford

Ge Wang
University College London

Carys Dally
University of Oxford

Petr Slovak
King’s College London

Julian Edbrooke-Childs
University College London

Max Van Klee
University of Oxford

Nigel Shadbolt
University of Oxford


via arXiv
DOI: 10.1145/3290605.3300336


Children under 11 are often regarded as too young to comprehend the implications of online privacy. Perhaps as a result, little research has focused on younger kids’ risk recognition and coping. Such knowledge is, however, critical for designing efficient safeguarding mechanisms for this age group. Through 12 focus group studies with 29 children aged 6-10 from UK schools, we examined how children described privacy risks related to their use of tablet computers and what information was used by them to identify threats. We found that children could identify and articulate certain privacy risks well, such as information oversharing or revealing real identities online; however, they had less awareness with respect to other risks, such as online tracking or game promotions. Our findings offer promising directions for supporting children’s awareness of cyber risks and the ability to protect themselves online.

Direct to Full Text Paper
13 pages; PDF.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.