Should we be teaching children to apply social distancing methods online too?
We are living in a new world where we are teaching children to be careful and think about the interactions with others, especially those people not in their households. The new normal is about keeping ourselves a safe distance away so we don’t unwittingly pass on or receive anything that’s unwanted, does this not apply online too? The transmission of the COVID-19 virus can spread as easily as the information we post about ourselves online and be as uncontrollable. A simple interaction and sharing of personal information online with one person can lead to multiple interactions from people we don’t know.
Perhaps the concept of social bubbles should apply online too and be discussed with children? Keep the network of people who you share personal information with small and limited to a bubble of trusted friends. Always remembering that as soon as you post something it isn’t guaranteed to remain private. What happens on the internet tends to stay on the internet, and not necessarily in a good way.
Encouraging children to be careful which friends they share with is a key message. Check out this toolkit for young people to help keep themselves safe online.
Here’s a thought for parents! Time making those privacy settings safe is the equivalent to teaching their children to wash their hands and prevent spreading the virus. Prevention is better than cure!
Remember, Your digital footprint is permanent!