Sunday, June 30, 2013

Personal Information you child discloses online

Children use social networking sites like Facebook extensively to communicate and chat with their friends and strangers. Children are exposed to “stranger danger” or “cyber bullying” or trolling when they post information of value and their privacy settings are not appropriately set allowing criminals, bullies, perverts and pedophiles to view their posts.
Many of these sites have member enabled privacy settings to restrict the viewing audience to preset categories such as friends, friends of friends and public. These broad privacy mechanisms are not sufficient to prevent determined strangers from viewing posts by surreptiously becoming part of these categories.

If your child does not accept strangers as friend because you have taught him well, but his friend does, then his post with a friend of friend restriction will be viewed by the stranger. The stranger can then comment on the post which will in turn be seen by your child. Eventually, this familiarity and the fact that the stranger is a friend of a friend may eventually lead to the stranger’s acceptance as a friend.
Types of personal information that puts a child or family at risk are:

  • Disclosure of identity, home address and movements
  • Disclosure of information on family issue or wealth
  • Financial information
  • Sharing of passwords due to teen culture
  • Sexual explicit messages and videos sent to partners can be put online when the relationship sours
  • Embarrassing photo’s or video’s and hurtful or insulting contents

Personal information may be posted voluntarily or in chat room conversation. In chat rooms children may disclose information that they would not normally post when asked a question by a trusted strangers or even because they believe that they are anonymous. Personal information can be disclosed through a variety of ways. Listed below are a few of them:
  • Profile Pages
  • Pictures
  • Posts and Chats
  • Using Webcams
  • Using SMS, IM’s and MMS
  • Video Chats

photo credit: Spree2010 via photopin cc

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