About a third (32%) of teenagers who regularly access the internet report they have been contacted by someone online with no connection to them or to their friends; however relatively few (7%) say the stranger made them feel scared or uncomfortable. However, a survey and analysis by the Pew Internet and American Life Project finds that certain traits and activities are more likely to attract interactions with unknown individuals, whether unwanted or otherwise. In particular, teens who have created profiles on social networking sites such as MySpace and those who have posted photos of themselves online are more likely than others to be contacted online by strangers. Girls are more likely than boys to report online contact that made them scared or uncomfortable. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.