Things Kids and Teens Should Better Never Ever Post on Social Networks
In today’s Internet era, you can hardly find a person who doesn’t have at least one online profile on social networks. Kids are the ones who get especially excited about joining the biggest social sites. Not a few of them create their first online profiles at a young age when they still don’t know enough about netiquette and social network rules, as well as what not to post on social media. Your duty as an attentive parent is to explain your teen all possible risks and aftermath of sharing too many personal details online before they join the world of likes and comments on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Overall, there are several main things to consider before posting on social media any details about self. The basic rule your child should learn is that the less information they give out about themselves online – the better. Another thing for kids to remember: you never know who may be viewing your profile. Besides friends, classmates and family members those can also be various online fraudsters, predators or identity thieves. And finally – once shared online, any image or information (even if sent through such popular “disappearing” messages) stays there forever on the site servers, and can never be removed completely. Whether sent in private or deleted after posting, personal information can still be spread further by being screenshotted, saved or reposted.
The problem refers to parents as well, not only kids: it’s better to avoid posting online any personal details of your child or children of your family members and friends, as well as any media files picturing them.
Here is a list of top things for kids and teens which they should better never post on Facebook or other popular social networks:
- Full name, date of birth, home address, home or cell phone number
Kids should avoid posting online any full and accurate information about themselves such as date of their birth, a place they live in, their full name or phone number. These are exactly the details that online fraudsters and predators may be looking for. It’s best to leave the section about one’s birthday blank or enter the different date and register a social network profile under a nickname.
2. Social Security Number and any information about one’s bank account
Anything that refers to your child’s bank account (if they already have one), as well as any personal details, and especially their Social Security Number may be collected by identity thieves and potentially used in their scams. As a result, your child may land down with spoilt credit history and a massive debt before even coming out of age.
3. Current location and geotags on photos
Another piece of information that may put your kid at risk is exposing online their current location. Child predators may use it to approach your child. Geotags on photos may provide an ill-minded person with the pattern of kid’s transfers and places that he or she regularly visits. Hence, it’s best to turn off tagging in privacy settings of a profile.
4. Family vacation plans
Most of the teens eagerly share tons of photos from their family trips. However, this might be not the best idea since telling everyone online that a family is out of home for a while might indicate to the burglars that a house/flat is left off-hand. Yes, modern-day criminals are technically savvy, too.
5. Valuable new possessions
No matter how excited kids can be about their new expensive gadget or a necklace from Tiffany’s. It’s not really polite to brag with such belongings in front of everyone. Not all people may like it. Plus, thieves might be checking online pages in search of potential victims. So don’t show off in order not to regret it later.
6. A kid being home alone
Posts, where children tell they are enjoying an evening home alone, is something that should never appear on social networks. Plus, geotags may be turned on, too… Stalkers and child predators can use this information to their own advantage.
7. Passwords and clues to them
No one except a kid’s parents should know their passwords, not even their family members or best friends. One also shouldn’t give any clues to their passwords in the online posts or private messages. Online pages might be hacked and used in fraudulent intents.
8. Discredit pictures and messages
Some high school teens like posting photos of themselves drinking alcohol, smoking or even doing drugs. They may think that it makes them look cool and mature. First of all, it doesn’t. Secondly, on the Web, everyone’s connected. Remember the ‘six degrees of separation’ rule? That’s right, it works much better on the Internet than in real life. Adjusting privacy settings may be not enough to hide embarrassing images from family, teachers or potential employers. Discredit images are among worst things to post on social media.
The issue with sending nude/seminude images in private messages and especially posting them on public pages may have serious consequences. For example, child predators and stalkers may steal such photos. Sexting is another thing that your child should never try, even in private, anonymous and “disappearing” chats. Aside from the ethical side of the problem, sending sexually explicit media files by underage children is considered to be illegal in the US and may lead to serious problems with the law.
9. Spreading rumors and cyberbullying
Spreading gossips and revealing others’ secrets online is simply rude and impolite. Same refers to offensive jokes and posts. Not only may a child offend a person with mean comments, but also they may lose trust and respect of their friends who see such behavior. The problem with bullying online is nowadays very severe; parents need to supervise their kids and interfere if they see that their child is involved in bullying.
10. Ads, giveaways, scams, and invites
Sharing on Facebook or other social networks countless giveaways, contests, scams, and game invites may be considered by friends as spamming – something that no one ever likes. Moreover, by sharing without filtering a kid might be unintentionally spreading malware and links to dubious sites. Well, ignorance is no defense, they say.
As you may see, there are quite a few rules of social media safety that your child should learn and remember. The aftermath of careless behavior online can reach out to their future when for example it will be time to get a student loan, enter a college or inquire for a job. A good thing to do is help your teen to create his or her profiles on various social networks, adjust their privacy settings together and discuss what they are not allowed to share online. Talk about questions they should ask themselves before posting something online. If the answer is not 100% yes, just don’t do it. A trusted parental monitoring app will help you to keep an eye on your kid’s online activity without interfering into their privacy, as well as to promptly avert many possible dangers.