Tue | Aug 14, 2018

Oversharing on social media could cost your life, warns expert

Published:Thursday | February 8, 2018 | 12:00 AMSyranno Baines/Staff Reporter
Nicole McLaren-Campbell, educator and chief executive officer of AIM Educational Services.
Spanish Town High School students at the Safer Internet Day 2018 at the Merl Grove High School Auditorium in St. Andrew on Tuesday
Girls from Immaculate High School using their smart devices.
AaLiyah Wilson and Teka Williams pose for a selfie with Captain I Can at Safer Internet Day 2018 at the Merl Grove High School Auditorium in St. Andrew on Tuesday.
Dutty Berry and Nicole McLaren-Campbell took time out to take a pic with Amanda Gordon, a fifth-form student of Merl Grove High School.
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Stressing the clear and present danger of sharing personal information on social media, educator and chief executive officer of AIM Educational Services, Nicole McLaren-Campbell, is urging young people to be more responsible Internet users.

She noted that real-time information sharing on social-media sites, especially when one's physical location is disclosed, presents a risk to their personal safety.

Addressing the hundreds of secondary students who gathered at the Karram Speid Auditorium at Merl Grove High School in St Andrew on Tuesday for Safer Internet Day 2018, an event organised by Flow Foundation, McLaren-Campbell reasoned that the emergence of live streaming on social media's most popular platforms could prove perilous if undertaken without proper awareness.

"So many crimes have been committed, not only robberies but murders where the perpetrators knew where the victims were because of their social-media activity," she asserted.

"We must all be careful where we go live (live-stream) and how frequently, just so we don't expose our routine, as that's another area that can leave you vulnerable to being targeted. It is very unfortunate that this is the case, but the reality is that whatever we post, we must think worst-case scenario."

She added, "We must think along the lines of, 'Am I exposing too much detail of my whereabouts which could potentially pose a security threat?'"

The motivational speaker further urged youngsters to familiarise themselves with the privacy and security settings on their smart devices.

... Parents must be social media savvy to help guide youth

Parents are being encouraged to acquaint themselves with social media, in order to be better able to guide their children on its usage.

"It is their job to understand it, just as their children do. You must ensure you know what apps are on your children's phone. Not saying that you have to police them, but you must have open conversations with them about the pros and cons," said Nicole McLaren-Campbell, educator and chief executive officer of AIM Educational Services.

Speaking at Safer Internet Day 2018 at the Karram Speid Auditorium at Merl Grove High School in St Andrew on Tuesday, managing director of FLOW Jamaica, Stephen Price, concurred with McLaren-Campbell's viewpoint, declaring that "we have to get down to brass tacks".

"We have to ensure that we find a methodology to include parents in this journey. I know a lot of parents are not necessarily tech-savvy but you have to be aware because the next trend is at hand and you have to be on par with your children. Encouraging dialogue between parents and children is also crucial. You have to know everything that's happening in your child's life," said Price.

 

Landmark event

Organised by Flow Foundation, Safer Internet Day is a landmark event in the online safety calendar, started as an initiative of the European Union SafeBorders project in 2004 and taken up by the Insafe network as one of its earliest actions in 2005.

It is observed in February of each year to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and smart phones, especially among children and young people in Europe and across the world.

This year's slogan was: 'Create, Connect and Share Respect: A better Internet starts with you'.

The students in attendance from four high schools across the Corporate Area were also privy to discussions centred on cybersecurity, cyberbullying and reputational management.

syranno.baines@gleanerjm.com