Frequent Facebook users are more likely to change their privacy settings.

Frequent Facebook users are more likely to change their privacy settings.

A close look at college students’ reaction to Facebook privacy policies revealed concern about online identities as news outlets pushed the issue to the forefront with increasing coverage in 2009 and 2010, according to a report released this month.

Eszter Hargittai, an associate professor at Northwestern University’s communication studies department, and Danah Boyd, a researcher for Microsoft Research and a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, found that most Facebook members altered their privacy settings in the past year while privacy advocates railed against gaps in the social media site’s identification security.

Hargittai and Boyd based their report on a survey of University of Illinois Chicago students conducted during the 2008-09 academic year and the 2009-10 school year. The researchers had a response rate of 45 percent among more than 1,000 students surveyed. The researchers’ report is published in the journal First Monday.

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