TeensMobileWe were always taught to share.  It was engrained in our upbringing.  Funny how things can take-on different meanings as we grow older and as the world has changed.

There are two cyber-safety days coming up soon, and honestly, I think it is great we recognize these days — but I sincerely hope that everyday parents and kids consider their safety and privacy online.

Data Privacy Day is Thursday, January, 28 and Safer Internet Day is Tuesday, February 11th.

Sharing is caring — but when it comes to online, it is not about caring, it is about being careful. 

Now with more teens mobile, it can be more difficult to control privacy.

Privacy is critical.

Most people believe that identity theft is only about adults, however recent studies have shown that kids are easy targets with an average of 500,000 identities stolen from minors annually.  Why?  They usually won’t realize their identity has been compromised until they are applying for a credit card or an educational loan – and what a mess they will be facing.

Although a recent study from Hart Research showed that 76% of teens are concerned about their privacy online, (up from 35% a year earlier) , teens are still over-sharing information they need to be protecting.

According to the latest PEW Research:

  • 91% post a photo of themselves, up from 79% in 2006.
  • 71% post their school name, up from 49%.
  • 71% post the city or town where they live, up from 61%.
  • 53% post their email address, up from 29%.
  • 20% post their cell phone number, up from 2%.

The first one about photos is now what many are calling, a selfie. It actually made the dictionary this year.

Teens especially are becoming fast fans of selfies.  However do they understand the consequences?

Yet another reason parents need to be in-tune to the digital lives of our kids today.

Fact is, I believe parents do care, but I also believe they are busy and may lack the time to keep up.  Unfortunately this is one part of raising kids we can’t slack on.  It simply part of parenting in today’s society.

Thankfully there is help from organizations like Reputation.com, which is the pioneer of online management and controlling your digital real estate.  Their service, MyPrivacy® can help you and your family keep your personal information private.

I am not a spokesperson for them, nor do I do I receive any kick-backs – I am a client since 2006 and have been satisfied for many years. I have watched them grow from a handful of employees – to well into the hundreds.  They are doing it right!

Your safety is your priority, your privacy counts — take the time to secure your personal information online and learn how to protect it.  You may not need a service – by taking the time to talk to your kids, secure your privacy settings (regularly), using strong passwords (never sharing them), and as well as being cyber-wise – you have to be diligent.

The Internet is not going away — it is time to embrace it.  Learn about it or allow someone to be sure you and your family is safe.  Read all the great safety and privacy articles in the coming weeks for the two upcoming days of cyber-safety.