In our new world of no-privacy, we as parents need to be vigilant to let our kids know how to live.
We recently had a family crisis with one of our children. The very first thing my husband and I did was to Google the kids’ names involved. Interestingly enough even teens will have things online about themselves and allow others to follow a media trail.
From something inappropriate shared publically on Twitter to social media networks that are not “locked down” from prying eyes, our kids run the risk of over-exposure in our digital world. And this trail lasts forever. Youthful indiscretions, something said in anger online may come back to hurt your children with others, in relationships, and even in a future job.
I routinely Google my own kids to assure that the social media sites that they “live” on are not totally public; even for my college age kids. I want to make sure that phone numbers, addresses and even full names and personal information is not overshared online. For my older kids I look to make sure that the sites they used are locked down so images do not get picked up by Google and returned in search results.
It is particularly important for parents, when kids first start using social media, to make sure they discuss privacy and personally review sharing settings on their accounts. Just as equally parents should review with teens and college age kids the difficulties they may run into with pictures and party scenes when they go to get a job.
It’s a very different world now for our kids than when you and I were growing up. We need to work together to keep all the children we care about safe and protected online.