Online Privacy: Starting the Conversation

As parents it is our responsibility to sit down with our children and have ‘The Sex Talk”. We do it because we want them to make choices that won’t damage their lives or their future. But how many of us sit down and have “The Online Privacy Talk”?
Just like sex, privacy is an issue for young people. They often don’t have the facts, don’t understand the consequences of their choices and don’t want to talk to their parents about it. In fact, its often their parents they want to keep their online activities private from!

So as a parent how do you start the conversation about online privacy? What is the right thing to say/do/advise? It’s important to open the conversation with your child and work to keep it going.

ThinkUKnow advises that first you discuss with your child what information you need as a parent to help keep them safe and what you don’t. This will help everyone involved to establish and maintain boundaries (unlike the mother in the video showing above!)

ThinkUKnow also recommends that it is never too early to talk to your child about privacy management. Once something is online it may be out there forever! Why not start with a family privacy audit? You can ‘Google Search” everyone in the family to learn what information already exists about them online. Next, you could talk about what kind of impressions people might get from the results of your search. This impression is called a ‘digital footprint‘ and employers, tertiary schools and organisations frequently search online as a check.

Starting the conversation is an important first step that will help you support your child as they learn to manage their digital information and privacy.

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