I had the pleasure of attending CREATESouth this year and sat in on a very informative “social media safety” presentation by Tee Morris. I’m, admittedly, sensitive about how much personal information I share online on any platform so this topic piqued my interest. At the end of the day, I walked away with a few really good tips for having fun on Facebook without compromising your family’s safety.
1) Use lists. Facebook allows you to create lists to which you can assign friends. I have several. One is for my closest friends with whom I share everything. The other extreme is a list of acquaintances I have through networking groups who only hear from me when I want to share something with the world. This allows you to post pictures, share your unique sense of humor others may find offensive, or whatever else you’d like with only the people you choose with the click of one button.
2) If you share photos of your children far and wide on Facebook, don’t tag or name them. Tee talked about how when he posts pictures, he’ll use a “superhero name” for his daughter. Those with whom he’s close know her name and, naturally, pose no risk. But he’s warned her that if he sees a “friend” out in public that refers to her by this alternate name to stick very close to him. Another friend uses “Young Miss”, “Older Miss” and “Sir” to refer to her children. The principle is the same – don’t give out too much information about your children.
3) Using the “check-in” or geo-tagging features on Facebook is a fun way to let others know where you are, but it’s also telling them where you aren’t – home. I’m not a paranoid person, but something just doesn’t feel right about advertising where I am, especial ly if it’s for an extended period of time, such as a vacation.
4) If your child is on Facebook, share these tips with him or her. Your cover is totally blown if you’re in Disney World together and he is tagging himself everywhere from Splash Mountain to the Tower of Terror. There’s nothing wrong with some family Facebook rules.
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