By Maximilian Clarke

More than 4 in 10 students are concerned that personal information about them online might affect their future careers, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has said on publication of their latest report.

The research also suggests that students remain vulnerable to identity theft, as 1 in 3 students do not give notice for a change of address

The ICO today launched its 2011 Student Brand Ambassador Campaign — a nationwide project aimed at raising young people’s awareness of information rights. Students at 15 universities across the UK, including Manchester, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Ulster, have been recruited to promote the ICO’s work on campus. Tasks involve spreading the word using social media, generating local media coverage and doing promotional work.

“In tough times, young people are clearly less relaxed about privacy, particularly in relation to information that they post online,” said Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, before cautioning: “but many may not know what they can do about it. The Student Brand Ambassador campaign is about arming students with the advice they need to protect themselves from obvious dangers such as identity theft and keeping their social lives private. It’s about empowering young people to take back control of their information and I hope the campaign is embraced by students at universities across the UK.”

The information, gathered via YouGov, corresponds to research carried out by Ofcom, which suggests online behaviour amongst young people is becoming more risk aware and more conscious of the dangers of not protecting privacy online.

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