Home KIDS Safe selfie habits to teach your kids

Safe selfie habits to teach your kids

Here’s what you need to know, and teach your kids, before they hold their smartphone at arm’s length (or enlist the help of a selfie stick) and share a photo with the online world.

In fact, remember that even sending a picture privately may result in unintended consequences, as once it’s shared, you have no control of what happens to it.


- Advertisement -

Tech-savvy cybercriminals can glean enough information from a photo after the image goes public.

If the phone has a geolocation enabled, your child may be giving away his or her whereabouts, since the current location is saved and shared along with the photo. Combined with other seemingly innocuous details from the image or the child’s social media profile, this can be misused by ill-intentioned individuals.   Even if the geolocation is disabled, small details in the background, such as street names or landmarks, may reveal sensitive information.

There are also hazards, such as cyberbullying, that occur online that impact negatively on children. A child who appears in an image in a potentially embarrassing pose or situation – without necessarily posting it themselves – can become a target for (cyber)bullies at school and around the world.

Here are some easy ways to help instill safe selfie habits in your kids.

1 Get involved

The single most important things is to get involved.  Explain to your children why privacy matters and help them set up privacy settings safely throughout their social media profiles, and review the settings on a regular basis.

When it comes to selfies, show your children how to go over the images with a fine-toothed comb. Teach them about the risks of the internet and especially of social media sharing, ensuring that they are aware of the kinds of situations that may put them and others at risk.

2 Walk the talk

The “Do as I say, not as I do!” admonition is unlikely to work.  In other words, if you can’t resist the urge to post portraits of yourself and your family or friends, you cannot expect your children to behave differently. Naturally the same goes for excessive sharing of personal information on social sites.

3 Trust but verify

At the end of the day, it’s important to have an understanding of what kids are up to online. There are dedicated and reputable apps that give you some control over children’s devices and their online activities, so that you can help them stay away from trouble. In a nutshell, parental control features can filter and block age-inappropriate content, restrict what kind of information is shared, and keep tabs on kids’ screen times. They can also keep activity logs, giving you an insight into what kind of online content your children have accessed.

Information supplied by  Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO at ESET South Africa.

- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Must Read

Six tips to ensure you don’t waste food 

Food waste is a huge problem, and it affects us all. According to the WWF, it’s estimated that a third of all food in South...

Beat Janu-worry with these beauty budgeting tips

We have all been there – it’s halfway through January and your December salary is on its last legs. Getting paid early last month...

Valentine specials

Yes. We KNOW we’ve just done Christmas. But Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. We never miss an excuse to celebrate. February’s all...

A hot date!

Pencil these events into your diary right now3 FEBFor those eager to learn more about the benefits of bone broth, Gina and Graham Neilson...

Gripping reads for the week…

A trio of books that’ll keep you up all night The Maid by Nita ProseMolly the maid is all alone in the world....
Want more exclusive content?

Sign up for our monthly newsletter