St. Patrick’s Day is one holiday in particular that people often “celebrate” by partying and drinking throughout the day. And while your kids probably aren’t skipping school to start the day off with a 10AM beer, now is as good a time as any to remind them of the dangers of oversharing personal information and inappropriate photos online. As with photos, wall posts or status updates of any party, what your teen posts becomes available to everyone once it’s online.
By posting a Facebook status mentioning drinking, partying or any other celebratory activities, teens risk immediate damage to their online reputation as well as serious consequences for their future. If a college admissions officer or potential employer came across information on any social networking site that displayed a teen’s inappropriate (and illegal!) behavior, they would think twice about admitting or hiring that person. One photo or status update can have seriously lasting effects – so explain to your kids how important it is to keep some information offline (or to avoid engaging in certain activities altogether).
If you’re having trouble getting through to your kids particularly during this time of the year (Spring Break is also around the corner for many teens), encourage other ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Wear green, make shamrocks cookies, take your kids to a parade or get the Mcdonald’s seasonal and limited time only Shamrock Shake! Just make sure your kids aren’t posting pictures that they will regret sharing or status updates that reveal their plans for the holidays. It may seem fun and exciting to post a picture in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, but it won’t be worth it down the line.
Do you ever worry about your kids oversharing revealing or inappropriate information online? What steps do you take to ensure their online safety and privacy?