One of the main things both children and adults do online is share. We share information, we share our experiences, we share our knowledge and we share photos and videos. Sharing is a great way of connecting with others, but it should also be done in a smart and safe way. Any person online should be aware of the risks involved related to sharing information online:
- Information online is never really private
When we use the internet, we are not always aware that our actions online and the information we upload can be seen by others. But every activity done online such as what websites you enter, information you upload and posts you share, all leave a digital footprint that can be traced. Even information shared in private can be copied or exposed to a bigger audience than intended, making the control over who can see it lost. So, anything that is not intended for public eyes, should not be online.
- Personal information and photos can be taken advantage of by online perpetrators
Not every person online has good intentions. Some will use information they find online on a person for bad intentions. For this reason, anything personal that can expose a person’s whereabouts or allow strangers to know more about them should not be online. Such information includes:
- Phone numbers and addresses
- Passwords and usernames
- School name and regular hangouts
- Intimate and revealing photos.
This information can be misused by online perpetrators who might try to stalk a child, learn more about them and gain access to them. Sharing this online can raise risks for both children and adults alike. However, children are more vulnerable to the risks as they are more likely to be trusting and comply to online demands from people they meet and talk with online.
Intimate photos and videos pose some of the greatest risks for children when shared online. Even if a photo is deleted, it could be copied or saved on the server, making the removal from the internet almost impossible and the control over who sees it lost. Thus, any photo or video that is not intended for anyone to see, should not be online.