Keep personal information on a need-to-know basis

Not every message should be shouted from the rooftops. It’s important to think before you share, since public content can be copied, re-shared and spread around the web by anyone who finds it. Talk to your family about protecting their personal information online, then help them share what they want and protect what they don’t. Some services, like Google+, have stricter sharing settings for teen users than for adults, but many services can be customised to fit the needs of each family member. Talk with your family about what types of information they can share publicly, what might be better to share with just a few close friends and what should stay private.

Advice from our partners

Childnet International

Sharing personal information online is very easy to do, and one of the attractions about social networking sites and sites promoting user generated content is that they give users a powerful voice to express their identity and opinions. However, it’s really important for all users to be mindful of what information they share in whatever they are doing online, whether using a chat facility or through their status updates and pictures for example. Personal information is not just limited to your email address, phone number and password, although this is all vital information to keep private, but also includes consideration of videos and photos posted online. By using the privacy settings that reputable sites offer, you can limit who can access your personal content. Childnet’s SMART rules offer an easy way for children to remember how to stay safe on the Internet.