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Online Privacy Information: Kidpower Shorts - Episode 3

Kidpower Shorts - Episode 3: Online Privacy Information

Most of us are aware that there is some information that is very unsafe to have publicly accessible online. For example, your home address; your passwords to important accounts; your financial information and many other things. However, internet safety is often much more complex than it first appears. This "Kid Power Shorts" today we are talking about an issue that is relevant to everyone using the internet online privacy.

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First, let's get some things straight. Some words information or photographs are actually illegal and should never be online. Whether content is legal or illegal for you to share will vary based on your country and your age and you will need to check with your local authorities to see what is allowed in your area. In addition, it may be against the law to share someone else's private information. Even if it is legal it is not okay to share anyone's private information without their consent. If you want to share someone else's private information, just check first with them to make sure it's okay.

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In this video, (below) we will be focusing on how to handle personal words, information or photographs, that are legal, ethical and yours to share. First off what do we mean by private? A good definition is that something is private when you would not be happy to share it with everyone in the world. Another good word for this is personal. Some things can be personal and private. For example, your name address and place of work and study are personal information and your thoughts and feelings are also personal. Different people vary and what personal information they consider to be private information.

You may wish to keep all sorts of personal things private such as your thoughts, opinions, photos, taste and music and you may have another friend who thinks that none of these things is private at all. Some things should never be public online such as the login information to your bank account. Some personal things do not get to be private. For example, if you want a driver's license you do not get to keep your name private. Additionally, you should share private information with your doctor when it is relevant. Some of these exchanges of information will take place online but only under certain circumstances and these people are legally bound to protect your private information from misuse.

In this video, we are talking about personal information, where you have a choice about whether or not to keep it private. One good rule of thumb is that you should never put something online if you would not be happy with the whole world seeing it. This sounds like an easy rule to follow but it can be surprisingly easy to slip up and accidentally share more than you intended when you are in an online space such as a Facebook group comment section or chat room. You are in public and it is important that you remain aware of how much personal information you are giving out.

It can be easy to give away lots of information without realizing it. For example, telling someone about a concert you went to on a specific day can tell someone which city you are in. Photos often have location data. If the photo is of a public place such as a tourist attraction this might be fine but if the photo is of your house you might prefer not to share that information with someone. You don't need to be afraid of posting or sharing but you should be aware of potential problems. So you can make conscious informed decisions about what is safe for you. For example, most people don't want their home address to be public but are still happy with their country of residence being public.

Think for yourself or talk to someone you trust about where your boundaries are and accept that other people may feel differently. You may find that others are more or less comfortable with different levels of privacy. Remember being a good digital citizen involves respecting other people's boundaries online.

It is not appropriate to shame someone for sharing less information than you do. Just because they don't want to tell you something does not mean that they think you are a bad person or that you are trying to hurt them. They are probably just being cautious. Also, you should remember that your information belongs to you. Someone might be offended that you don't feel comfortable telling them something. Remember that you do not have to give away any information to be polite. Your safety is more important than anyone's embarrassment, inconvenience or offense.

Being careful to protect your privacy is important because once someone has your personal information or images you cannot take them back. You should understand that once you send someone your personal information they have the power to share it with other people, potentially without checking first with you. Yes even if you send it on a private platform such as Snapchat. Many people will not share your personal information but some people may wish to share your personal information to bother you and other people have different boundaries around their privacy and may not understand that sharing your personal information is not okay.

Sometimes you might want to share personal things with someone you love and trust, such as a close friend. These experiences can be very positive, important and meaningful to people however, sharing personal content online is not as safe as sharing in person. If someone you love and trust asks for personal information or images online you can set clear boundaries while still maintaining your relationship. Just because you are comfortable sharing something in person does not mean it is always safe to share that same thing online. Remember the best way to prevent private words ideas or images from being shared without your consent is to not make them available in the first place. When in doubt, wait to share your private information until you can do so in a safe space in person.

You can use your awareness to notice when you might give away personal information and make safe choices about whether or not to do so and you can use your boundary setting and digital citizenship skills to protect your personal information from others and accept when other people do not want to share their personal information with you.

You deserve to interact with others online, without giving away any more personal information than is comfortable and safe for you.

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