Leading By Example

By | December 2, 2013

As parents in an ever-increasing social media world, one of our needs is to keep our children safe whilst online.

T regularly goes onto wifi to play FIFA 14 and it’s on the proviso that he remains in the same room as us and the volume is sufficient for us to hear what he’s doing. His passwords are not related to name, gender or age and he’s aware of the reasons why. His school have been very pro-active in providing safety lessons whilst online.

Social media “nasties” are never very far away. I remember turning over to This Morning one day and seeing Holly and Phill absolutely in fits of giggles over a verbal slip-up. I typed in the word on twitter they’d meant to say, not the alternative to see the context and whilst I received my answer I was also bombarded with almost o b s c e n e images from an innocent word. Something I don’t want my children to encounter, visual images stay in the mind for a long time.

The age requirement to have a twitter account is 13 years, but I know of younger people. As long as they’re constantly supervised, I can see it’s a useful way to networking but I wouldn’t let T or D have an account yet.

But, back to my main reason for today’s post:

I had a spare few minutes yesterday so decided to look someone up on twitter I know by sight. I was amazed to find that within two minutes and from recent tweets and pictures, I could find out the following:

The names of her children, together with full face photos

The name and location of the school they attend (from a “look at the event” picture)

And the name of their town (from a sunset photo).

Now, I’m not doing anything with this information, but someone else might. A stranger. A stranger who would know what her children look like, their names and their school.

I’m sure her children receive the same online advice as T, don’t give out your name, age or gender, don’t say where you are, don’t arrange to meet anyone. It’s a shame their mum doesn’t follow that advice.


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