With the Internet and Social Media being a huge part of almost every individual’s life, it’s not shocking to see people getting lost, misguided, or carried away by all the buzz that’s happening in cyberspace. There are so many kids who irresponsibly tweet, post their Instagram pictures, and Snapchat every single move they make.
While that may keep the “likes” and “followers” increasing, online users (especially your kids) should be more aware of the fact that this could also put their lives and privacy at risk, so they need to take proper precautions. Online Privacy is just as important as you and your child’s privacy in real life because sharing everything about you to the rest of the world is not the brightest idea. So, call on your children, sit with them, and read this article together to learn about online privacy which is a big part of your digital health.
What is Online Privacy?
Online privacy is our given right to choose what we show online about ourselves and to express ourselves selectively. Therefore, it is our responsibility as parents to guide our children and make them learn not to give other people the chance to violate these rights.
Is Online Privacy Really that Necessary?
#YES, online privacy is necessary and essential. All your personal information is what online criminals are targeting and waiting to pounce on. That is why it is important to think before you share because who knows to whom that information might go to.
Online Privacy Risks You and Your Child Should be Aware Of
The list of possible risks that comes with sharing too much and not being careful of the content that we post online is numerous. Here is a list of the most common online privacy risks according Techopedia:
- Malware (Malicious Software) – This is a program or software that causes harm to the computer and its user. It is used to corrupt your data files and steal your information.
- Virus – a program that replicates itself and transfers from one computer to another.
- Worms – similar to a Virus but does not replicate itself and harms the computer in various ways.
- Trojan – a harmful program that disguises as a useful software and tricks users into downloading it. Once installed, it makes your computer vulnerable to and unprotected from hackers that will steal your information.
- Spyware – a program that secretly hides and runs in the background of your computer without you being aware of it.
- Keyloggers – this program records the keystrokes that are typed in and can be used to steal important passwords and pins.
- Pharming – A hacking technique wherein it redirects users from a legitimate website to a different and malicious IP Address.
- Spam – Unwanted email or pop-ups that are mostly sent by robots or advertisers.
- Phishing – A hacker’s technique in attempting to acquire personal and sensitive. information like user data, passwords, pin numbers, credit card account numbers, and etc.
- Stalking – The act where people keep track of everything you do and use your online posts and data as a source of information about you.
- Identity Theft – This is when someone tries to steal your identity, by using your name and personal information, to act as you or to ruin your reputation.
With a long list of all the possible risks, it is very important that you protect you and your child by keeping certain important information private. Additionally, do not let you and your child contribute to being victims of online privacy violations and risks. As you and your child continuously post updates about your life without holding anything back and keeping things private, it just paves way to be an object and target for online criminals and assisting them in doing such acts against you and your child.
Things the Rest of the World Doesn’t Need to Know
Cyberspace can be overwhelming at times and sharing things about ourselves seems to be the trend nowadays. Social media is a good platform for communicating with friends, sharing memories, and storing information. However, there are some things that you and your child should keep to yourselves:
- Your full address
- Your full name and age
- Your personal contact number
- Your current location
- Videos and pictures of friends without their consent
- Picture of your credit cards, tickets, passport, etc.
- Inappropriate personal pictures
- Details of your upcoming plans and vacations
- Information about others
Other ways to protect your online privacy
To further ensure your safety and privacy online, we created a list from reliable sources such as Norton and Malwarebytes Labs to help you and your child in keeping safe from hackers and cybercriminals.
- Things to let your child know
- Always ask permission from an adult first before downloading or accessing any site
- Create passwords that contain both numbers and words to make them harder to guess
- Check and edit the privacy settings on your social media accounts
- Do not add strangers as friends on any social media platform
- Never open or download links and files from unknown and unsafe sources
- Minimize how much you share on the internet
- Keep track of your accounts
- Always log out of your accounts if you used a public computer or device
- Never leave your gadgets unattended without any password on it
- Download a legit anti-virus software on your computer
- Do not share your passwords with anyone (except your parents)
- As a parent of your child
- Be sure to set up ground rules with your child before allowing them to take on the responsibility of using the internet
- Keep your child aware of the potential risks
- Monitor what your child does online and the sites s/he accesses
- Establish open communication between you and your child
- Set rules on how much and for how long your child can use the internet once a day
- Monitor your child’s social media accounts
- Always be there for your child in helping them whenever they encounter problems online
- Secure your home Wi-Fi with a password
- Set a good example for your child to follow
It’s nice to be included in the latest trends, but never let it go to the point that it harms you. Always remember: your safety and privacy come first, then all the likes and followers later.