Thanks to the social media boom, it is now easier than ever to stay connected to friends and family.
Those who use social media platforms also seem to be starting younger, and that has some concerned that we may not have had ample time to analyze the consequences of these sharing tools — particularly for children. According to the Better Business Bureau, this makes it all-the-more important for parents to learn about online privacy.
Keeping your family from being overexposed online is a task that requires being proactive rather than reactive. when it comes to protecting our children, it should include remembering to:
- Avoid embarrassing photos. If you are going to share photos of your child, be mindful that an unflattering or embarrassing image or story that you may use to lovingly tease them, can easily become bait for a bully down the road. Once information is shared and photos are posted, control of the content is forever relinquished. You may be opening the door to an invasion of privacy or, worse, to an online predator.
- Check your privacy settings. Read the privacy policies and learn the privacy settings on your preferred social networks. Then, set your photos to the highest privacy settings where possible. Limiting the audience to which they are shared greatly minimizes the possibility of them falling into the wrong hands.
- Teach good digital citizenship. When it comes time to give your child a smart phone or tablet, help them with its setup. Teach the importance of creating a strong password and the rationale behind it. Remind them that their digital footprint is about more than just images, it’s about interactions as well. Comments can live online for an eternity.
- Set limits and stick to them. Setting limits on internet usage is a great way to keep it in check. Establish ground rules for the use of whatever devices and apps you give your children permission to enjoy.
For more help, visit www.BBB.org.
Got a question for the BBB? Contact Regional Director Kelly Trevino at firstname.lastname@example.org.