online parenting, oversharing

Social media overshares generally land somewhere on the "enjoyable spectrum" between a hoard of blood-thirsty mosquitoes and a Gilbert Godfrey recording on repeat. In addition to often being crass and irritating, social media overshares can lead to serious crimes and bullying. It’s time to wise up and teach your family proper social media etiquette, it could save more than just a reputation.

Don’t Leave Trails

While it may be tempting to countdown to your school vacation or brag about your weekend trip to the slopes, disclosing any dates or times you may be out of town is basically like slapping a “SITTING DUCK” sign outside your home. Even posting the cliché complaint about long school hours or grueling work schedules can be a tip-off to anyone looking for a mark to loot. Even if you trust everyone on your friend’s list, can you guarantee all of their friends are hundred percent trustworthy? Or, every single person on your list is at a zero percent risk of leaving their account open somewhere?

Each year, countless thieves are tipped off by unsuspecting oversharers who innocently want to showcase their trip to the Grand Canyon or feel the need to vent about a double shift. While home security systems or even a guard dog can help ward off petty burglars— when it comes to social media and your whereabouts— less is more.

Never Reveal Financial Status

It seems almost like a right of passage to post a new car, home or ring size on your page— but not only does this often appear insincere and desperate— it can put you and those prized possessions at risk. 

Even if you're jumping for joy about your new promotion or you just won the lottery, chances are for every lucky new opportunity that may come your way, there's a predator who wouldn’t mind sharing a piece of your identity with you. When it comes to valuables, always play it close to the chest.

Any Subject You Wouldn’t Want Mentioned

This includes any relationship “insights” or happenings, ANY and ALL mention of bodily functions, whether it’s your baby’s stuffy nose or your cat missed the litter box, these things have no place being thrown into a public forum. The same goes for extreme views on race, religion or politics... no matter how tempting it can be to vent, your close friends are most likely already aware of your personal stances, and you’re probably not going to enlighten anyone whose opposing opinions are just as cemented as yours— you’ll just perpetuate anger. When posting anything remotely personal, think to yourself... “would I want to hear a hobo chugging a bottle of mouthwash on Christmas Eve mumble about this subject at a bus stop?” And if the answer is NO— change your post or don’t post at all.

Somewhere between generations, the online world has helped foster a decrease in tact and diplomacy amongst peers, while bolstering the individual’s impression that the world is waiting to hear every detail they have to say with baited breath. This isn't only a detriment to egos everywhere, but can put you and your family’s safety at risk. Social media isn't a diary or personal journal, and learning to use it intelligently could save your reputation— your savings account or even your life someday.

Parenting has become increasingly more complicated with cell phones and computers. Read about how you can keep up with it all in our eBook! Download “Digital Parenting: The Essential Guide to Raising Connected Kids” now.

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Steven Woda
Steve Woda is the co-founder and CEO of uKnow, and a leader in the Internet safety and security field for over 15 years. He frequently speaks on the topics of Internet and mobile security, ecommerce and information economics. You can follow Steve on Twitter or on his blog.