Tips For Parents To Protect A Child's Online Presence

13/09/2015 7:28 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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Privacy setting shortcuts are displayed on Apple Inc. iPhone 6 smartphone screen as a FaceBook Inc. logo is seen in this arranged photograph taken in London, U.K., on Friday, May, 15, 2015. Facebook reached a deal with New York Times Co. and eight other media outlets to post stories directly to the social network's mobile news feeds, as publishers strive for new ways to expand their reach. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images

If your child is online or if you post photos of your children online, there are many dangers involved. Here’s an important checklist for parents to help safeguard your child’s online presence:

  • Exclude personal details from your social media profile: never post your address or phone number, your children’s age, their school. Minimise the details in your ‘about me’ section.
  • If you’re going to share photos of your children online, be selective -- don’t choose photos that make them look silly. You might think it’s funny to post a photo of your daughter wearing your high heels, or your son soaking in a bubble bath but these photos could cause embarrassment in the future. In the ‘olden days’ parents would set aside photos to show their child at their 21st -- don’t post those kinds of photos.
  • Do not make any photos of your children public. It’s not worth it -- think about the future security for your child.
  • If you don’t already, start using a private photo sharing platform that only your friends and family have access to via a password.
  • Beware of over-sharing. You lose control of all data when you put it online.
  • Do a Google image search of your child. You might be surprised what you find.
  • Always think before sending or posting; once it’s out there, you can’t get it back, and you can’t control where it might end up.
  • Educate your children about the dangers associated with online conversations.
  • If your children are on social media, monitor their page. You might think your child is perfect but kids are kids -- if you’re not in control of what they are posting on social media then they could be posting pictures of themselves that could haunt them in the future.
  • Talk to your kids about age-appropriate sites.
  • Check with your child’s school, public library, and other places they frequent to find out what internet sites they’re accessing.
  • Always monitor the status of safety settings on devices used by your child.
  • Deactivate settings like GPS from social media sites used by your child.
  • Ensure you and/or your child has a strong password to secure their devices. Protect your passwords so your child cannot automatically purchase apps without your approval.
  • Always use secure web browsers and active parental control restrictions on your home computer and devices.
  • Never give your password to anyone!

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