Share media safely

At the heart of social networking is the ability to send photographs and videos. Whether on Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook, our digital children are sharing moments from their lives on a daily basis.

Smartphones have put cameras into the pockets of our young people and, as Digital Parents, it is vital that we play our part in helping our children to use them safely.

For information about the different websites and apps that children and teenagers in Qatar are using to share media (information, images, videos etc.) with their friends, read our Digital Parents’ guide to social networks.

For the remainder of this page, we will take a brief look at some dos and don’ts for Digital Parents to help their children to share media safely. This list is not comprehensive, so refer to the rest of the AmanTECH website and other available resources for more detailed information.

The Vodafone AmanTECH media-sharing checklist for Digital Parents

Do

...ask about the different social networking sites and apps your children are using, and the types of images and videos they are sharing online

…share your wisdom and experience; our digital children may be miles ahead when it comes to technology, but they are still learning about the way the rest of the world works

…find out together about the privacy settings which can limit who is able to view the media they share

…discuss the importance of managing their reputation; what goes online, stays online!

…set up your own account on one of the popular social networking sites like Twitter or WhatsApp so that you can familiarise yourself with the way that they work

…be aware that social media can have a huge impact on young people’s self-image  if they begin to compare themselves negatively to the images they see online

Don’t

…assume that your children are risking everything online; many young people already have a good understanding of the importance of internet safety through school lessons and initiatives like Safe Space and AmanTECH

…allow discussions about sharing media online to become arguments; it is important that Digital Parents and children are able to talk openly and honestly about this issue, starting at an early age

…presume that parental controls and privacy settings are perfect; it is impossible to completely prevent images being shared more widely than originally intended

Finally, it may be worth making it a condition of your children having access to the internet that you be able to:

Have access to their digital devices’ passcodes

Check to see what they have looked at online by looking at their browser history

Follow their social networking posts yourself

If you do decide that the measures above might be necessary, make sure that you discuss it with your children first and explain the reasons why clearly and in detail.

Trust is a vital part of any Digital Parent’s role in guiding their children safely in the digital world. Put these conditions in place as soon as your children start to use the internet so that, over time, you are able to give your children more freedom as they grow in experience and maturity.