Talking Points: Posting and Sharing Online
As the holiday season approaches, it is important to talk to your child about what they can share online. It may also come in handy as a little refresher for those of you attending dinner outings and Christmas parties. If you are giving your child a smartphone this Christmas, you need to make sure they are being responsible about posting and sharing photos online. We have come up with some talking points that you can use to broach the subject with them.
1. What is personal information?
One approach to starting this conversation is to pick a well known public figure and talk about what you know about them. Let’s say you pick Niall Horan (the guy from One Direction); ask your child what they know about him. Then ask what they don’t know. Do they know his phone number, his address, his deepest most intimate thoughts? What type of thing would Niall’s family know about him that his friends might not?
2. What types of things are okay to share online?
Listen to what your child says and talk to them about the type of content you would be uncomfortable with your them sharing. Make sure you specifically talk about photographs. Be very clear on the types of photo you would be unhappy with them posting . Discuss the importance of being a good digital friend by not sharing images or other personal information that might hurt or embarrass their friends or peers.
Did you know? Remind your child that pictures ad video contain a lot of information other than just what you see (metadata) that we may not be aware of. This metadata includes your location, this can be disabled in the location settings on most devices.
3. What would you do if someone asked you to do something online that you are not comfortable with?
Peer pressure can often influence what type of photos young people post online, encourage your child to be themselves! This is also a good opportunity to let your child know that they can come to you if they encounter anything negative online.
4. Is it possible to create a fake profile online?
It is important that young social media users understand that people may not always be who they say they are. Remind them that is is very easy to set up a fake social media profile. It is a good idea to go through privacy settings of social networks and encourage them to use a friends only setting for their social media profiles. This video from the BBC can be a way to emphasise this point:
5. Would you share a photo of someone online without their permission?
Young people may not realise the consequences of sharing harmful images of others without their permission. Ask your child how they would feel if a photo or video of them was shared without their permission. Discuss the consequences of when sharing goes wrong. Remind your child that once something is shared online they lose control over where it can go.
One of the most important things parents can do to help their child online is lead by example. If you are prepared to walk the talk, let your child know that you would not share photos of them without their permission and you expect them to do the same. For tips on sharing photos of your kids, go to: https://www.webwise.ie/parents/oversharing-online/