Cyber Safety: Talking to Your Teen About Oversharing
For years, you’ve sounded like a broken record encouraging your child to share. But, if you have a pre-teen or teen with an active social media life, “sharing” too much information online could make them a prime target for phishing scams or worse.
It’s time to change the conversation and warn your kids about the dangers of oversharing in the online world. Here are 5 “overshares” you should encourage your kids not to do.
Sharing sensitive data: You may think it’s common sense, but we’re talking about kids here, so it’s essential for parents to spell out what constitutes sensitive data. Make sure your kids know they should never share pics or write posts that include information like their full name, street address, mother’s maiden name, or pet’s name.
Sharing passwords: Teens are notorious for sharing the user ID and passwords for their social media accounts with their besties. This is a big no-no. While they may be friends today, tomorrow is a different story. Your teen will regret giving someone else the ability to post to their account if the relationship does not end amicably.
Sharing locations: It’s fun to let close friends know that you’re chilling on the beach, but security experts agree you should never broadcast that news on your social networks. It’s like sending a welcome invitation to thieves that you’re not home. Tell your teen to wait until you’re back home to post those amazing vacay pics.
Sharing unauthorized pics: In the age of cyberbullying, your child should never post an unflattering pic of a friend or family member without their permission. It may seem funny to share them making a crazy face, but online comments can be cruel and hurtful. Tell your child to always ask if their friend or family member is okay with them posting the image before they do it.
In addition to these guidelines, talk to your child about other Internet rules he or she thinks are worth following. Put these down in writing and post them on the fridge or in your child’s room where they will be seen on a regular basis.
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