Thanks to the folks at SafetyWeb for providing a wonderful, detailed, new guide for parents, “Cyber Security in the 21st Century.” You can download it as a free PDF here.
One of the most important things to talk about with your kids when it comes to being safe online is sharing personal information and photos over Facebook, Twitter, etc. Thanks to SafetyWeb for allowing me to share these tips for parents, which are also appropriate for kids:
• Don’t post the exact details of your whereabouts before the fact. Announcing the exact dates of a two-week vacation; reporting when and where a child goes to and leaves school; saying anything that tells strangers too much about your location or your kids’ locations should be avoided.
• If you choose to upload photos to a social networking site via a smart phone, turn off geotagging.
• Monitor kids’ networked friends. Be sure they understand that they should not accept invitations from people they don’t know.
• Do not include too many personal details. Birth month and day is adequate, for example, especially for information about children, but the same applies to adults, too.
• Use avatars or pet pictures for kids on social networking sites.
• Understand that Skype and other VoIP software can share too much information, too. Share information judiciously.
• Think before posting anything – pictures, facts or opinions. Privacy is a relative term on a social networking site, and things travel quickly on the Internet.
• Set and maintain your security settings. Do not assume that the site’s default settings are the best for you.