Oversharing has become one of the biggest problems with social media and the Internet in general today. With kids having instant online access right in their pockets or backpacks, it’s essential that parents teach them how to behave properly and safely on tech platforms. Whether your child has their own cell phone, tablet, or laptop, or only has access to one or more of these devices at home or school, it’s up to you to teach them to use tech responsibly. Here are 5 things that kids should never share online:
It should seem like common sense to adults, but many kids may not realize the danger in sharing their home address on the internet. From identity thieves to potential predators, there are many safety and security reasons why the home address should remain private online. Let your kids know that if someone or some website is asking for their address, they should tell you so you can evaluate the situation. There are few, if any, instances in which kids should be asked for or sharing their home address online.
All mobile devices have location trackers installed, and many of the social media services and apps ask permission to know and share those locations. While it comes in handy when you want to know where your child is, their current location is not something that they should be sharing publicly. Check each of the apps that are installed on their device, and remove the option of sharing the location on all apps except for the family tracker.
Talk to your child about the types of images and content that are okay and appropriate to share online. If you have a teen, don’t wait to talk to them about the dangers of sexting. What may seem simply silly or harmless to a kid could actually be material that can be harmful to them or their friends. This is just one of the many reasons that it’s so important parents keep an eye on their child’s activity on social media.
Personal identity info
Personal details like social security numbers, bank accounts, credit card numbers, and account passwords should never be shared on the web. This includes through messaging services and texts. Make your child aware of the dangers of identity theft. It may sound surprising, but identity thieves do use the names, birth dates, and social security numbers of children. It isn’t until the child or their parent goes to open an account or apply for college that the id theft is discovered. It can be a costly and difficult situation to deal with.
Even if your child is comfortable discussing their medical issues, they should never share that info publicly. Explain that everyone’s medical history, including their own, is private and personal.
It may be hard for kids to understand that they shouldn’t share personal details about their lives online. After all, they feel comfortable using a variety of apps and social sites, and it seems like everyone else is, too. However, the information that we share online is there forever, and it can pose a risk to our health, safety and security. Let your kids know that these are things they should never reveal online.