Saturday, 24 October 2015

Vlogging,Youtube and teaching kids to keep personal details private

My 10 year daughter is obsessed with vloggers, especially Zoella, Bratayley, MylifeasEva, ThatcherJoe, MoreZoella, NerdyNummies, How To Cook That, My Cupcake Addiction and Cookies Cupcakes and Cardio.

Personally I don't get it. All it is is people going around and talking into their phones and doing normal, boring things.

But she can't get enough of it!

I even find her now, sitting there making her own little videos or pretending to make them.

"Hi everybody" you hear her; "It's Betty here from Five Children and Dog. Today I'm playing the Sims 4 and here's how you can play it too!"

What about your children? Are they into vlogging as well? Do they want their own youtube account? At what age would you let them? Do you teach them about sharing too much information?

A few weeks ago Betty came to me and showed me a video on YouTube that two of her classmates had made and I was shocked at how much information they had shared. In the video they told people their real names, where they live, how old they are, their school name, when their birthday was and their likes and dislikes.

After watching the video I contacted the mothers of the girls concerned to let them know and I also contacted the school who held a special class to go over internet safety with the whole school. I then sat down with my children and we chatted about the importance of not sharing personal details on social media, especially details that could help someone work out who they were and where they lived. Betty asked me why I used an alias on my blog for for them all, so I explained it was to help protect them.
"Imagine I used your real name and posted a picture of you and someone who read my blog saw you in the street." I explained. "They could come over and pretend to be my friend and by telling you things which I had posted online they could make you believe I did know them and it was safe to go with them. Now if I always used an alias for you, the fact that they didn't know your real name would tell you they weren't really my friend and you would know not to go with them.

Children are using the internet more and more, to connect with their friends and for schoolwork, so it is important they know how to keep safe. Parental controls can only do so much, we also have to teach them..

My daughter uses Skype to connect with her friends and she plays Roblox, but she also knows not to add anyone she doesn't know in real life as a friend or to say anything online that she wouldn't say to someone's face. I've also told her not to share a picture she wouldn't want everyone to see as a picture is never as private as you might think, all it takes is one person saving it and sharing it for it to go viral.

But the most important thing I teach them all is that mistakes happen and if anything happens which has them scared, worried or concerned or somebody asks them to do something they don't want to or think they shouldn't do, then I am always here for them to talk to them and to help them deal with it. They don't have to deal with it alone!

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