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3 Things to warn your kids about if they’re on social media

MOTHER AND SON TALKING
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If they're not careful, they might share more information than they intended to.

In the social media age, it’s common for people who don’t know us well (or even complete strangers) to know many of our personal details — including our date of birth, our family history, and where we went on vacation last summer.

But while anyone on social media should be careful about what they choose to post, there are some common mistakes, especially among teenagers, that are much more dangerous than you might think:

  1. Posting a picture of your driver’s license. When a teenager passes that test, it’s often the first thing they want to do: post a picture of their shiny new driver’s license on social media. But this seemingly harmless picture leaves the personal details on your license out in the open for anyone to copy, which makes you vulnerable to identity left.
  2. Mentioning details of your vacation. In all the excitement of a new adventure, many post pictures as they’re preparing for an upcoming trip, including the details of where they’re going, how long they’ll be gone, and what they’ll be doing. But these details can leave your empty home vulnerable to theft, especially due to location services which allow others to track where pictures are being posted from and find where you live.
  3. Posting pictures of pay checks. Another exciting first for many young people, pay checks are great social media bait, because they give away account details. In 2014, CNNMoney reported on the arrest of an identity left ring that chose victims through pictures of pay checks posted on Instagram.

Because social media has become so common and widely used, the reality of the “dangers of the internet” is too often ignored. If you or your kids use social media, talk to them about safety and security when posting on social media.

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