Education

A visual representation of America's digital literacy

Waitress Renita Rhynes (L), 53, and Jinny Hanson, 64, a former postal worker, attend a basic computer class at the Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow (FIT) workforce development center in Las Vegas, Nevada October 20, 2011.

Waitress Renita Rhynes (L), 53, and Jinny Hanson, 64, a former postal worker, attend a basic computer class at the Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow (FIT) workforce development center in Las Vegas, Nevada October 20, 2011. Image: REUTERS/Steve Marcus

Sarah Feldman
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Education

A new report by Pew Research Center found that American’s digital literacy is lacking, with 40 percent of adults answering questions correctly on average. The study asked U.S. adults about a wide range of tech topics from who owns social media sites to tech policies and data privacy.

Overall younger adults and people with higher education were more likely to get digital literacy questions correct. There were three questions that most people got correct, which included what media phishing scams can appear in, what cookies are, and what the biggest source of revenue is for social media platforms.

People were also able to identify that phishing scams can occur on any number of platforms, including social media, websites, email, or text messages. Most respondents knew that cookies track user visits and site activity. Nearly six-in-ten knew that advertising is the largest source of revenue for most social media platforms.

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Still, Pew identified areas that are still largely unfamiliar to the American public. These subjects are as varied as they are numerous. The chief question people were unsure of was what Jack Dorsey, founder, and CEO of Twitter, looked like. Other topics like what the ‘https://’ means and what two-factor authentication is equally stumped people.

Image: Statista
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