By Hannah Meredith – Education and Awareness Officer, Information Security team

For children and teenagers, the internet is an exciting place where they can develop and learn important skills for the future. Sadly, it can be a dangerous place too – with scams and dangerous individuals specifically targeting children.

From speaking to our PACT (Parents and Carers Together) group, we understand that a really big concern for parents is their children ‘oversharing’ on social media. Most of us know that what we post online never truly disappears, so it’s especially important for children to remember this when they’re sharing things on social media.

  • Make sure they’re aware of their privacy settings, so only their friends can contact them, or see what they put online. Also, make sure they’re open with you about all of the people in their friends list, and that they’re not connecting with people they don’t know in real life
  • Tell them not to share private information, such as their current location, or photos that obviously show where they live. Children may not understand that this information could be used by burglars, especially if they’re also posting when they’re away on holiday
  • If they’re going to post a photo of anyone, tell them to ask for permission from that person first (this goes for you too – if you’re going to post a photo of your child on social media, lead by example and ask if they’re happy with you doing this)

If you have access to Yammer, join our InfoSec Bytes group for more helpful advice.

For more detailed advice and guidance, the NSPCC have created a website called Net Aware which has guides for parents and children on the most popular social networks and apps.