I recently had a mother say to me that she felt bad looking through her pre teen daughter’s mobile device. Whilst there seems to be a common perception that one’s mobile device equates to one’s diary, I would argue that whilst I pay for that device, it legally remains mine and therefore remains my responsibility. In short, “the one with the gold makes the golden rule!”
In everyday life, a parent should have control over whom their child talks to and vice versa. The same parallel should apply to your child’s activities online. Check who is following your child online as well as who they are following and discuss it with them. If there is a name that they are not familiar with, or even a vague, “it’s a friend of a friend” then it is safer to remove the stranger from that group. ‘Stranger Danger’ applies both in everyday life as well as online. I would suggest that it is more critical online because it is so easy to be secretive online.
Advise your child to speak to their peers as if you or their peers’ parents or even their teachers were present. Hopefully this would ensure that your love one’s do not inadvertently hurt someone or wander into trap where their integrity can be questioned.
In the same vein, both you and your family should be wary of being guilty by association. The legal phrase is ‘innocent dissemination’. If you know something is wrong and you do not either correct it or remove yourselves from being associated to it, then you can be considered liable. You should be vigilant about removing yourself from groups or digital conversations that mean nothing to you. This includes WhatsApp.
Unfortunately, privacy and integrity is becoming more vulnerable with the increase in availability of digital channels of communication and social media platforms. It affects the way we interact with our peers online because the legal consequences can be unexpectedly grim.
How #CyberSavvy are you? Tune in to Crunchy Apple Design for more information.