A fond moment of my childhood for me was getting a chance to play with some of the first computer games for 15 minute intervals in 3rd grade “free time.” What stunk about it was that I never had a chance to finish Oregon Trail and see if I lived or if a snake bite was my demise! Those were the times, and that was the only dilemma us kids had to deal with on the computer. Now, any child who touches one finger of the keyboard is about to face an internet world of sadness, hurt, and corruption which can instantly make them a target.
But have no fear! You don’t have to ban any type of digital activity in your house as to “protect” your child from the dangers of the internet. Instead, here are a few rules to try and put into effect for your ever-techie kid, thanks to Nicole Fabian-Weber from The Stir:
1. Don’t share their names. If you have a blog or an Instagram account where you don’t know half the people following you, it’s best to keep your children’s names private. Use their first initial or a nickname instead.
2. Share less photos the older they get. Let’s get real: Newborns kind of all look the same. They’re tiny and red and squishy, and more likely than not, they’re swaddled and wearing a little knit hat. But the older children get, the easier it is to identify them. As your kids age, consider scaling back on the amount of photos you share on social networking sites.
3. Share photos where your kids’ faces aren’t completely clear. I’m not talking about taking blurry pictures here, I’m simply saying get creative. Share photos of your kids from the back; from far away; while wearing goggles on your skip trip. There are plenty of ways to share photos without getting too up close and personal.
4. Only be friends with people you’re actually friends with. Chances are, you’re not super tight with everyone you’re friends with on Facebook or everyone who follows you on Twitter. If you’re going to share intimate moments of your family’s life, you may want to cut loose those you don’t really know. And if you don’t want to do a massive unfriending, create a separate account, where you share photos of your little ones.
5. Ensure all your privacy settings are on. Facebook changes their privacy policies every day. To be sure you’ve got the most privacy you possibly can have on the site (which, let’s be real, isn’t that much), check your settings weekly to make sure only your friends can see what you post, etc.
6. Turn off the geo-tracking feature. You know how your smartphone will ask you if it can tap into your current location? Yeah, don’t do that. Having the location of where your kids were when you took the pic is just a bad idea.