Tip 1: Personal Information

TIP 1: Educate the family on the importance of online privacy and protecting their personal information.

There are a number of steps that families can take to protect their personal information. This can be as simple as understanding who can access the information that is shared online. Some social networking sites encourage users to tie their account to their real-world identity and this means that families should be vigilant with what information they choose to post on these accounts. Sharing information such as phone numbers or photos that can be used to locate or identify you in the real world (your city, school name, street signs, identifying landmarks) can expose your family to dangers. Some social networks allow you to modify or delete information which has been published about you (including removing tags which identify you or a family member within photos).

In addition to this, remind yourself that many of the people in your social networks should be considered ‘strangers’, especially those who are friends-of-friends.

Conversation starters to help you discuss this with your children:

  • What is personal information?
  • What kind of people should you let be your online friends?
  • What would you say to a friend who wanted to share photos of themselves or other friends online?
  • What do you think might happen if someone gave out his or her address or phone number to someone online?
  • Are there any ways you can completely delete personal information once it has been published online?