Business Bulletin: How to avoid overexposing your family on social media | Times Free Press
Business Bulletin: How to avoid overexposing your family on social media Business Bulletin: How to avoid overexposing your family on social media September 6th, 2018 by Jim Winsett in Business Around the Region
Q. My kids are continually on social media; I am concerned for their identity and theft of information. What advice may BBB provide?
A. You have reason for concern. In a post-Cambridge Analytica world, we have learned how far-reaching the implications are of what we share online. Initially, social media made connecting with our friends and families easier, but the platforms have grown so rapidly that we may not have had ample time to recognize the need for personal data protection. The sharing of our daily lives is now second-nature to most. For instance, according to Gizmodo, there are over 300 million photos uploaded to Facebook per day. The amount of information users willingly share is likely too much to measure, however once that information is shared and photos are posted, control of the content is relinquished and you may be opening your family up to an unwanted invasion of privacy—or worse, to online predators.
Here are some social media safety tips to maintain your child‘s right to online privacy and avoid overexposing your family’s information.
Let Your Kids Decide Their Digital Future. Many “sharents” (parents who can’t help but publicly overshare their family) have posted hundreds of photos before children have learned to walk. It’s understandable to want to share your child‘s most adorable moments but take a moment to consider that when you post these photos, you’re making a choice on that child‘s behalf to share extremely personal content without their consent. The genie can’t be put back in the bottle; once kids have an online presence, which cannot be undone. So take a moment to pause and think about the personal data protection consequences before you post.
Avoid Embarrassing photos. If you are going to share photos of your child, be mindful. You don’t want an embarrassing image or story that you may use to lovingly tease your child to become a bully’s bait down the road. Once stories or images are posted online, they can be easily shared but not so easily destroyed or forgotten.
Don’t Be Naïve. What may be adorable to you may be misused by others. A photo of your child in the bathtub, for example, can be captured by someone who can exploit it, manipulate it and even misappropriate it, posting it to other sites.
Hashtags May Make You Vulnerable. Avoid using hashtags like #nakedkids, #nakedbaby, etc., or other inappropriate labels that make it easy for ill-intentioned predators to find specific images.
Check your privacy Settings. Read the privacy policies and learn the privacy settings on your preferred social networks to best protect your personal data and content. Set your photos to the highest privacy settings where possible. Although photos posted online can live for eternity, limiting the audience to which they’re shared severely minimizes the possibility of them falling into the wrong hands.
Clean Up Time. Audit the information-sharing practices of the mobile apps you have on your connected devices. Consider deleting accounts and removing apps that do not employ safe and responsible practices.
Teach Good Digital Citizenship. When it comes time to give your child a smartphone or tablet, help them with its setup. Teach social media safety, including the importance of creating a strong password and the rationale behind it. Remind them that their digital footprint is about more than just images, it’s about interactions as well. Comments and discussions can live online for an eternity.
Constant Communication. When your children are old enough to understand, let them know what photos you plan to share of them. Respect their opinion. If there are images they think are embarrassing or that makes them uncomfortable, take them down.
Set Limits and Stick to Them. It’s easy for us all to be consumed with technology and over sharing. Setting limits on internet usage is a great way to protect personal data. Establish ground rules for use of whatever devices and apps you give your children permission to use.
The Family Online Safety Institute, www.fosi.org actually offers contract templates for families to use.
Visit BBB.org for additional consumer tips.
Jim Winsett is president of the Bettr Business Bureau in Chattanooga More Articles