I found a very clever and humorous video that portrays how a mother can literally cyber-stalk her college-aged child living away from home via Facebook and Twitter.
A classic tale of the old “double-edged” sword of technology, this video reveals in very great detail that while the social media network sites make it easy to connect and share information and experiences, anyone can easily get a hold of information posted in very innocent ways if there is not attention to privacy and access. So parents need to instruct their children to be careful about what is posted and the digital footprint created over time. (See related Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner article on digital footprints).
CAUTION: The video displays images of the college party life including foul and sexually explicit language and images – so please view the video here after the children are down for a nap or bedtime:
After a good laugh (this made me howl) read below some of the takeaways for cyber safety that come to mind – perhaps you have more lessons learned? Please send your comments.
e-Mom Stalker Tips: Cyber-Safe Proof Your Child’s Social Media Experience
- Kids need to be careful about the pictures they post, and of others posting compromising pictures of themselves on other social network sites.
- Use the privacy settings to allow only those people you know to have access beyond the public view. Don’t “friend-accept” every “friend-request” – know whom you are allowing into your cyber-world.
- It’s easy to create false “on-line” identities that possibly allows undesirables to access your on-line world and network. In the e-Mom stalker video example, she created a false Twitter account with a common name followed by the birth date of her son so he would be fooled into thinking it was an old classmate from years past. Then she harassed the girl he had been seen partying with telling her to stay away from her son because he deserved better than her – using the alias the entire time.
- Be careful of “tagging” which is meta-data attached to photos where you appear on your own web page or those of your friends. When you are “tagged” that means you are identified when scrolling over the picture. It might be wise to keep any images where you are “tagged” in the private area, and ask your friends not to post “tagged” images of you that are made public.
May all your “banana moments” be rewarding as well as challenging.
Joanna Jullien firstname.lastname@example.org
Joanna married her high school sweetheart and over the past 25 years they have raised two sons in Roseville, CA. She has a degree from UC Berkeley in Social Anthropology (corporate culture) and has over 20 years experience as a professional manager in information technology, manufacturing, energy and environment. Joanna writes on parenting in the 21st century, as she has observed and personally experienced many strains on the parent-child relationship with the advent of the Internet, mobile phones and popular culture.
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