Sharing things online seems to be the key way to send information about anything from your favorite recipe to how to keep kids safe online. Kids and teens also use social media platforms to share things online. They share memes and funny stories on with their friends on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. But sometimes the things shared can be detrimental to their reputation and yours. Be sure to also be your child’s positive guide into the world of social media. Educate them on both the positive and negative and how to be safe. Make sure they understand that social media sharing can be a positive place if used correctly.
As said in other LATRO CFL 411 blogs: if you don’t see what your kid shares, another child’s parents will and you will find out.
Here is how and what to teach your kids about safe sharing online.
When sharing photos online, be sure to educate your kids on what can be perceived as negative and positive.
- No nude photos of themselves or others
- No photos that show street names or house numbers
- No photos of friends who don’t give their permission to share
- No suggestive photos
- No photos that will offend someone’s culture or ethnicity
How Much Is Too Much?
When sharing things online, sometimes kids and teens use their platforms as almost a diary. They often will tweet out their feelings looking for others who feel and think the same. Allowing kids to express their feelings is necessary but teach them the safer ways to do so. The internet also isn’t the most ideal place for nice and understanding people. The definition of “keyboard warrior” is “a person who makes abusive or aggressive posts on the Internet, typically one who conceals their true identity.”
Keyboard warriors prey on naïve and vulnerable people who put their lives on the internet. Unfortunately, there have been numerous reports in the news that cyber bully kids to death. There is also the mob mentality that happens when kids start to bully other kids. The triggers for bullying is an endless list from boredom to jealously of others.
Be sure to monitor the things your kids put online and try to teach them healthy ways to deal with stress and bullying.
Understand What You Are Dealing With
As we have said in previous blog posts, the most important ammo you can have is your KNOWLEDGE. Understanding what you are dealing with is the first step in understanding triggers that could be harmful to your child. Familarize yourself with the apps, the culture, and the lingo. Understand the dangers of having an online presense, big or small.
Create A Contract
Before allowing kids to create an online presence, sit down with them and come up with guidelines you both agree on. If those guidelines or rules are broken, then come up with consequences together. There are tons of different examples of social media contracts online. Establishing this contract before the social media profiles are created will allow you to know they understand exactly what’s allowed and what isn’t. There isn’t a surefire way to know every single thing your child does and says online but establishing rules will give them an idea of right and wrong.
Strong Passwords. Strong Protection
Setting up social media profiles with your child will ensure their passwords are strong. All MacBook’s and most PCs have an autofill password suggestion that are extremely strong and almost impossible to crack. Passwords should be a combination of upper and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers. Strong passwords are the key to protecting your child’s personal information and your information.
The best passwords that are almost impossible to crack against bot hackers are using phrases such as: mydogisbrown. Phrases are your best armor against the hackers.