Even in 2019, after the Internet and smartphones have been around for quite awhile, there are still people that don’t quite understand exactly how they work. Which is understandable, right? Smartphones, iPads and Apps are incredibly user-friendly. With the press of a button, the world is at your fingertips. So, it is not surprising that there are still plenty of common misconceptions that experts hear from parents and kids about online safety.
Recently, smartsocial.com wrote an article called “Back to School Safety for Students Online.” We liked the section about what these five experts from around the country hear “all the time” from parents and kids when it comes to technology and digital media.
Andrew Selepak is a professor in the department of telecommunication at the University of Florida and director of the graduate program in social media. “One of the things that I hear kind of frequently is, “I heard that you can hide online”. What I mean by that, is that I have a lot of students who think that if they use their first name and middle name on Facebook, then no one will ever find them. It’s not true. Don’t think that you can hide online.”
Holly Zink is a Digital Marketing Project Manager and Tech Blog Administrator at Safeguarde. She says, “People think that they can create a strong password that will keep them secure online, but it’s not always secure. For example, even if a parent were to monitor a kid’s social media account in order to protect them, that may not actually protect the child on social media because if the kid is cyber bullied online, the parent cannot do anything to protect the child in that scenario.”
Derek Peterson, who is a technology expert and founder of Digital Fly, software which helps schools with bullying, cyber-bullying, suicide, self-harm, violence and other potential dangers. He says that he hears people say, “I heard that on Snapchat everything disappears in 15 seconds.” What actually happens is a kid screenshots a snap and then they can live on forever. That picture or that image can be texted and uploaded and sent all over the place.”
Brian Greenberg, a cyber-security and business technology expert at Akrete. He says that he often hears, “If I have photos on my phone, I can throw them out or delete them and I won’t ever have to worry about those again. But, that isn’t necessarily true, though, because most of those applications that take your photos synchronize all of those photos up into the cloud, so depending on how you set up your computer and your phone, you may have copies of all of your photos in iCloud, in Dropbox, in Google Photos, and a number of other services and you didn’t even know about.”
Maryanna Agelinas, who is a Mom, Entrepreneur, & Social Media Management expert at Pharos Social. She often hears that, “If my children allow me to friend them on all of their platforms it means that they must be pretty good” and that’s not true. Fake accounts exist. Spinster accounts exist. And there are so many different languages out there that cyber bullies are using, and hashtags to attack people online that parents don’t know about.”
Project B3 thought this was great information. We try to inform our readers about “everything” that they need to know in this ever-changing digital world, but sometimes it just comes down to the simplest ideas. Your photos don’t “disappear.” You can’t hide online with a different name. Even “good kids” have fake social media accounts. Strong passwords are only one way to keep your accounts safe. Snapchat snaps don’t disappear. If you didn’t know, now you know!