Children and young people are spending increasing amounts of time online connecting with friends, playing games, watching videos and doing homework.

When online they may not give much thought to their privacy and the types of information they are sharing, especially as they become more engaged and familiar with social media, online gaming and other interactive apps.

Sharing information and uploading photos on social media can be a great way for your child to express themselves, build friendships and share memorable moments. But there can be risks associated with this. Sometimes information can be shared more broadly than they think. Even if their profile is set to private, they can’t control what their friends might do with the information.

What are kids sharing online?

Our Young and social online research shows that young people share a wide range of information about themselves when using social media, including:

  • photos of their face
  • their last name
  • their real age
  • the school they go to
  • their phone number and address.

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How can I help protect my child’s privacy online?

It’s important that your child is aware of where and how their personal information is available, who can access it and what others can do with their information.

You can help your child manage their online privacy:

  • encourage them to not put any personal information on their social media profiles
  • remind them that much of what they do online can be made public 
  • encourage them to think before they post—explore how they would feel if that information was shared more broadly than they expected
  • play along with them in online games to see what kinds of information they may be sharing
  • sit down together and check privacy settings on social media accounts, apps and devices - ensure they have selected the highest privacy setting
  • remind them to select passwords carefully and to not share this with friends.

Where can I find more privacy tips?

For more privacy tips see ‘Ten Privacy tips for parents and carers’, a guide developed by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

Ten privacy tips for parents and carers

 

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