In Cyber Safety, Social Media

Twitter Privacy: What Should You Do to Protect your Kids?

twitter privacy

What does bullying have to do with Twitter or social media? Unfortunately, a lot! Cyber bullying has reached new levels of aggressiveness as more kids have access to this easily through mobile technology and smart devices. It has become too easy for them to access your child and their information so parents must be even more vigilant. So, what about Twitter Privacy policy?

Also, with so much going on in the media regarding privacy issues, hacking, and general misuse and abuse of online platforms, it is important to know the policies of these platforms, so that you can protect your kids. First, it is important to know the rules. Each social media platform, business, and company has their own privacy policy. They ARE required by law to have a privacy policy. So the first step toward protecting your kids is to know what Twitter Privacy rules are.

Twitter privacy policy is summarized below:

What you say on Twitter may be viewed around the world instantly. This is the first statement mentioned in their privacy policy and includes information about you which you provided to Twitter at the time of registration. It may include your name, email address, Twitter account user information (but not passwords), and other information associated with your identity on Twitter.

Twitter Privacy: Accessibility And Privacy Specifics

If you want your posts to be private, you must specify this when you setup your account or later by going back into settings and changing your settings to include only those specific people you select to view your post. It also states that your posts will be seen automatically by any of your followers whom you have chosen to follow and you may post through any device which allows access. Devices included are: SMS text messaging through smart phones or tablets, emails, API’s, applications, buttons, widgets, and apps.

Twitter Privacy: Information Collection And Use

The twitter privacy policy also specifies that the information you provide when you register for a Twitter account may be accessible to the public, even if that public does not have a Twitter account themselves. Optionally, you are allowed to provide such additional information, such as your website URL, biography, physical and geographical location, or a picture. This is very important for parents to know, since kids may easily set up a Twitter account without you knowing it and they may choose to provide such sensitive information as their physical address, photos of themselves, your home and/or family, and other information.

Twitter Privacy Settings And Twitter Security

Twitter allows you to tweak your settings to where you email address and phone/cell number are not available but this is a setting that is not there by default. You must select this setting in Twitter and disallow this information from being available to the public. For example, in the security settings, the default is to “allow location finding by email address.” You also have to have an email address listed in order to register, so you will have to go in and deliberately uncheck this in order for your email to be private in searches. The default for “find my location” though is set to unchecked, so this means that people may not find out where you or your child live, unless you check this box. It is strongly advised NOT to check this, if you have an under aged child using Twitter.

Twitter Privacy and Safety

When it comes to bullying, Twitter is not immune to such incidents. And, while their privacy policy is sound and transparent, and spells out their policies upfront, few people take the time to read it to see what information is out there and available for anyone in the public to discover. It is the prudent and wise parent who takes extra steps to ensure that their kids are safe by disabling those features which allow too much information to be available to searchers. Regarding bullying the best thing you can do as a parent is to check the settings in Twitter when your child is using it and make sure they stay set to the safest security options at all times.

TWITTER PRIVACY & BULLYING ISSUES

Kids sometimes use Twitter to harass other kids through social media and believe that they are immune from the law and can remain anonymous using social media platforms. Such is not the case, and the law can intervene when necessary. But it becomes a more difficult issue when it involves kids from the local school district who are tech savvy enough to know how to create fake identities or hide their identities altogether. Here are some tips parents can do to ensure that their child has the utmost Twitter security when using this platform so that you can deal with any issues quickly when they come up:

  • Know who your kids contacts are. It seems impossible to keep up with this but you can. Simply log in to your child’s Twitter account once in awhile and see who has sent them direct messages. Remember that only people who your child is directly connected with (following) is allowed to send direct messages. So these people are more closely connected and can communicate with your child any time. If someone suspicious comes up, you may want to talk to your child about it or delete them.
  • Blocking: For obviously questionable connections, you may block the person completely. To block someone, hover over their contact name and go to their profile. Then choose “block.” The person will then not be able to contact your child or see any of their tweets. If they were following your child, they will no longer be able to do this.
  • Report infractions to Twitter security. Twitter does have regulations, as noted above, and they want to know when people are abusing the system. If you believe someone was intentionally harassing your child or trying to get personal information (phishing), this is grounds for dismissal in some cases and Twitter wants to know about this. Contact the Twitter administrators directly to report any such behaviors as soon as possible after it occurs.
  • Talk to your kids. This is the most important aspect of avoiding such security issues to begin with. Communicate to your kids that you care about their safety online, just as you do in the real world, and that they should report any strange incidents to you immediately after it happens. This way, you will be more able to track the problem, find out who did it, and bring the culprit to justice so that they do not try things on other people.

Fighting Bullying On Twitter

Keeping a watchful eye on the happenings of Twitter is just one way parents can help in the fight against bullying. Cyber bullying is at an all-time high, due to the increased ease of accessibility on such social media as Twitter and Facebook. Through a higher level of diligence on the part of schools and parents, we can combat this issue too. But it takes direct involvement and starts with knowing what is going on with your child’s online activity, what they have access to, and understanding the policies of the online platforms in which your child is engaged.

Read more about Twitter’s privacy policy here, and contact them if you have additional concerns.

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