Privacy

The American Library Association describes a digitally literate person as being someone who “understands the relationship between technology, life-long learning, personal privacy, and stewardship of information.” [1]

Understanding what personal information is safe to share online—and what is not—is a critical aspect of modern life. According to experts at Reputation.com: Sharing personally identifiable information such as home addresses, phone numbers, and excessive pictures should always be avoided.  It is important to establish with your child at an early age the difference between personal information and public information.

As your child gets older, focus on reinforcing that message, but also explain the nuances between public and private sharing. By the time kids are in high school, they should be keeping most of their personal information private, but they should also consider using the Internet to share positive content about themselves to build a strong online reputation to attract college admissions officers and potential job recruiters later in life.

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Reputation.com recommends the following specific guidelines for each age group [2]:

Elementary School Kids should NEVER share (their own or another’s):

  • Age
  • Full Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Name of School
  • Password Information
  • Images (with possible exception depending on parental involvement)

Middle School Kids should NEVER share (their own or another’s):

  • Age
  • Full Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Name of School
  • Password Information (even to friends)
  • Most Images (At this age, kids get into social networking and will be sharing images via cell phones and digital cameras. Parents should focus on limiting the images their children share online)

High School Kids should NEVER share (their own or another’s):

  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Password Information (even to friends)
  • Offensive or Sexually Suggestive Images or Messages

Suggested Solutions


References

[1] American Library Association, Digital Literacy Taskforce, “Digital Literacy Definition,” 2011. Online: http://connect.ala.org/files/94226/what%20is%20digilit%20(2).pdf

[2] Reputation.com : http://www.reputation.com/

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