Most of us share photos, videos and updates on social media every day.
But, it’s very important to be careful about what you’re sharing online. Everything you post, contributes to your ‘digital footprint’. This means even things you think you’re just sharing privately with your friend could potentially be seen by anyone, including future employers, other pupils at your school and complete strangers.
Before you post or share your next photo, video or status update, ask yourself:
What do I look like?
If you didn’t know you, what would think about this post? What would you think about the person who posted it?
Things we might share with friends as a joke can look very different to someone else, and that might be someone you’re trying to impress – a girl, a boy or even an employer.
Is this permanent?
When you share something online, you can lose control of it. Even if you delete a photo or take down a post, you can’t be sure it hasn’t already been copied.
Think about how many people you’re sharing with and whether they will take care of what you share. It’s easy for other people to copy what you re-post online, change it and share it without you knowing.
Am I giving away too much?
The more you share, the more people can learn about you. Could they use your post against you?
If someone saw your content, would it hurt their feelings? Would you want your future employer to see this? What if your family saw it?
Would you want this shared about you?
It’s important to think about the impact that what you post online could have on others. Do you have your friend’s permission to share the picture you took of them from the weekend?
The Billboard Test: Would you be happy to see your latest update plastered on a billboard for all your family, neighbours, sports club friends and school mates to see? If not, it’s probably worth thinking twice before you click the ‘post’ or ‘send’ button.
How to get help
If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your public health nurse.
Find help in your local area
Find out what services are available to you in your area. Remember your school nurse is always there to give you confidential help and support.