If you’re looking to take additional precautions in protecting you or your child’s online privacy, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled some tips from our Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Derek Jackson to help you make smarter decisions when it comes to sharing personal information online.
Whether your child is already active on social media or just getting started, it's important to talk with them about the username they plan to associate with their online content. Usernames are public regardless of their account privacy settings. Oftentimes, usernames include some type of personal information. This may be their first name, last name, birthday or birth year. From a cybersecurity perspective, hackers often use this personal information to guess security questions when trying to reset an account's password or attempting to log in. While on most platforms usernames can be changed as often as you would like, it's probably a good idea to give some thought to how much personal information your child wants out there.
Similar to usernames, the information your child includes in their public bio should be limited and given some thought. It’s a good idea to not include things like their age, hometown or school as this could make them a target to online predators. It is also responsible to omit including links to other social media accounts to limit the amount of public information associated with your child’s online presence.
Getting creative with passwords can feel like an unnecessary chore. We’re all guilty of using the same couple of passwords for multiple accounts but I can promise you that it is significantly easier for a hacker to take control of multiple accounts when they only need to guess a single password. This also goes for consistently resetting your passwords to keep them secure. Some resources for checking the security of your current passwords or if you are at risk of being hacked are howsecureismypassword.net and haveibeenpwned.com.
Some social platforms allow users to tag their location when posting or share their current location with their friends. Even if your child is intentional and careful about who they accept as followers and friends, it's smart to avoid sharing this type of information. This includes mentioning specifics about their location in the caption or comments, as well. Private content can easily be accessed by the public and there are predators out there who will collect this type of information to try and reach out to children and start grooming them for something even more nefarious.
By implementing these tips you can ensure that your child’s online presence is protected and proactive in maintaining a positive online reputation!