Rumour has it: Discussing online privacy with your child
March 21, 2018
As soon as they start using the Internet, children are faced with choices that can have major consequences on their lives — both online and offline. As parents, it’s important for us to teach them how to practice empathy and good judgement. These skills will help them understand what they should and should not be sharing about themselves and others.
We’ve created a short, simple quiz for youth to let them test how well they think before they post. Ask your child to take the quiz with you, so you can get a sense of how they would react to common situations that tweens/teens face online. This can also start a positive conversation about online behaviour.
Remind your child that private information is valuable
Your child needs to know that their personal information is valuable, and they should protect it. Ask your tween/teen to keep their online profiles private and locked with a strong password. Remind them what a strong password is. Once they set their password, remind them not to share it, even with close friends!
Remind your child that things posted online are out there forever
Tweens and teens also need to understand that whatever they post online is out there forever and could be seen (and copied, and shared) by people they never thought would see it. Have your child ask themselves these questions before sharing anything online:
- Is this how I want people to see me?
- Could somebody use this against me if they wanted to?
- Could this hurt somebody else’s reputation or feelings?
- What's the worst thing that could happen if I shared this?
Have “the talk” about sexting
1 in 10 teens admits to having sent a “sext,” which is a sexually explicit photo or message. Encourage your teen to talk to you or another trusted adult if they are being pressured or sexually harassed by anyone. Keep in mind boys and girls both send sexts at the same rate and sexting typically happens between two people in a romantic relationship. Talk to boys and girls about “sexting” and teach them that it's never okay to pressure someone to do something they don't want to do.
Participate in SCRUB Day on March 27
There are many other things you can do to protect your child’s privacy. One is to encourage your child to participate in SCRUB Day, which is an initiative to help online users of all ages to protect their personal information on social media. SCRUB Day falls on March 27.
Learn how to SCRUB your social media profiles:
Set privacy options
Remove inappropriate posts
For more tips on discussing privacy with your teen, download our Digital Citizenship Guide for Parents.
Follow @GetCyberSafe and share these images with #SCRUBday to join the movement that is sweeping the Internet!
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