An interesting exercise is to do a search for yourself online. You might find your name features on your employer’s webpage together with your contact details; you may find news articles and images, your LinkedIn profile, your Facebook posts, Gumtree or eBay listings, Amazon purchase reviews and so much more. How much of that do you really want visible to everyone? And what steps can you take to maintain your online safety, and that of your family?
My Permissions app.
Many of the online tools we use regularly require us to set up a profile including several personal details, and then that profile can be used to simplify the process of signing up for other tools and apps. You can check the app, MyPermissions, to see just how many apps have access to your Twitter or Facebook account. For the record, apparently, I have 37 apps that can access my Twitter account – some that I don’t even know what they are! I’ll be reviewing that this week.
Facebook is, for many, a means of communicating with friends and family overseas or interstate. Have you checked your privacy settings? This is particularly important if you’re sharing photos of your children which may include where they go to school or dance class, play sport, and the names of family pets and other identifying features.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be active online, rather, that we should be careful about how we link our tools and apps, and make deliberate choices about what is public information and what is private. For many of us, our LinkedIn or Twitter accounts and blogs are an important means of developing our professional networks and sharing information, and we’ll be covering more on this in Thing 3 and Thing 5.
Through this program we will be networking through the @23ThingsCDU Twitter account, communicating and sharing with others across Australia and globally. If you’re interested in using Twitter to develop your professional networks, follow these simple instructions on Signing up with Twitter. If you choose to set up an account, you will need to decide on a username: this is how you will be seen online, so select a name that is professionally appropriate. Once you’ve created your account, search for and follow @23ThingsCDU. We’ll cover more on using Twitter in Thing 5.
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner website contains helpful advice on your privacy when using social media, including:
A 2020 update from the eSafety Commissioner is the Toolkit for Universities, a suite of resources to help university communities be safer online, including resources for teachers and students.
For those with children going online, how to be safe online provides activities assisting teens to create a safe online profile, and to play and stay safe online.
A further resource for parents with teens is The Lost Summer, an educational video game in which players take on the role of various young people within a diverse community. Throughout the game, players are confronted with a variety of challenges, including conflicts on social media, cyber-attacks and fake news. The Lost Summer provides opportunities for participants to develop respect, critical thinking, resilience, responsibility and empathy.