The digital age has given many perks to people. It allows for friends and family to keep in contact much easier than they have ever been able to before. Your friend who is physically hundreds or thousands of miles away is right there in your computer now. This offers the great benefit of sharing jokes, what is going on your life, and finding out what is going on in their life. But with the sweet comes the sour.
Since the popularity of websites such as Facebook has grown in the past 10 years so have privacy concerns. Questions about what parent should share about their kids have come up. What is too much?
Parents typically enjoy sharing pictures of their pets and children because they are cute and many people close to them want to see what is going on. But understandably, as children age they may not want photos of them in potentially embarrassing situations on the web forever.
According to a survey by AVG an internet security firm, 92% of children in the United States have an online presence by the age of two. This comes from parents who are sharing on social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter and writers who discuss their family as subjects in online columns and blogs.
Here are some tips to keep your kids safe online.
Privacy settings. Your privacy settings should be checked on all your social media sites to be visible only to your friends, and being selective of whose those people are. You also have the option to share with an even more selective group on Facebook. With every post or photo you can select even a specific “list” which may only be your very close friends and family.
Anonymity. If blogging or writing a column, don’t use your children’s real names,
Turn off Location. Make sure your location is not included in your posts
Strong Passwords. Passwords should always be strong to protect from identity theft.
Less is more when posting. This also teaches your children to consider how much they post. This is for their own safety and stress. The less controversial posts they have, the less arguments and possible issues with peers are likely to come up. This is also important when considering the content of their posts and what they actually want seen online.
In Austria an 18 year old is suing her parents for excessive posting of baby pictures. Her parents shared more than 500 photos with their 700 “friends” and she feels they had no “shame or limit” on the things they shared, which included her siting on a toilet as a child. Considering that employers can look at your pictures on Facebook, she has a right to be concerned if her parents tagged her and made them public.
This is the digital age and some photos should be expected, just as everyone had photo albums in the past with potentially embarrassing photos. But only so many people would ever see those photos in a physical album. Your online presence should be safe guarded in the same manner, to only allow as many people as you would into your home. When it comes to sharing on social media, moderation and balance is key.