8 things parents should think about before they post

8 things parents should think about before they post

By Tamim Taufiq, Head of Norton Middle East

Published: Fri 25 May 2018, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 25 May 2018, 2:00 AM

1) Check your privacy settings on your social network sites. If you share content and information online, be aware of the privacy settings of the post. Some of the terms and conditions could exceed your personal comfort limit. Make sure your permission choices are right for you. Although you may originally have set your updates for viewing by people you are connected to, some social networking sites update their policies, and users don't realise they have to opt-out of some new public-view settings.
If you do share everything publicly, stop to think about how that may hurt you or your family. If you Google yourself, you might be surprised by how much information about yourself is already online. Then ask yourself if you're okay with everybody in the world seeing this information - everyone from prospective employers to potential love interests, to your 13-year-old niece to your own children.

2) Only accept invitations to links with people you know well in real life. Unless the information you share is very general, it's probably safer only to accept invitations to connect with people you know. It may be tempting to make friends with a charming stranger, but catfishing is real. Without having real-life connections in common, you may never know if that person is really who they say they are.
3) Don't display the names of people in your network. While you may not be victimised directly, your connections might be. Spear-phishing scams rely on cybercriminals gathering enough personal information to send out convincing emails, seemingly from people known by the target. With access to the names of your connections, your friends may start to get bogus emails from somebody pretending to be you.
4) Don't make announcements that are specific. From events and invitations, births and graduations, this allows cyber criminals to easily gather personal information and use it against you to commit identity fraud or scam you or friends in your network.

5) Share but don't overshare. Before sharing information or pictures online, take a moment to remember to be cautious. Don't be guilty of TMI - too much information. What information you choose to share may be shared by your connections to their networks. Ultimately, once your information is on the Internet, you have no control over who may see it.

6) Keep your full name and address to yourself. This same advice also applies to posting your children or grandchildren's full names. Everyone in your trusted circle should know the children's names anyway, so the information is redundant. Remind the teens in your life to adopt the same practices, as they're more likely to share personal information.

7)Think twice about posting revealing photos. Even if you don't explicitly reveal a child's name, you may be revealing too much in what appears to be a harmless photo. And what about that picture of your new expensive flat screen TV, or your family room full of gifts around the holidays? Advertising your whereabouts may needlessly paint a target on your house for criminals. When in doubt, just share your photos privately with a trusted few.

8) Don't be too personal. Attackers can use all that great information you have shared in your posts or public profile - date of birth, education, interests - to try to get into your accounts on all sorts of services. Just imagine how easily someone can find out the name of your first pet or school from your Facebook profile, then think about how many services use them as security questions. Keep as much of your profile private as you can, and think twice before posting absolutely every aspect of you or your kid's life.

- Tamim Taufiq, Head of Norton Middle East

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