What do you tell your child if they say they want to start a blog? You might have privacy concerns you want to address with them, but also want to foster their creativity and self-expression. It is possible to do both.
Creating, maintaining, and promoting a blog requires a wide range of skills that could be useful in a child’s future career. Writing can help your child discover their creativity, express themselves, and provide you with a valuable insight into their life. Your support will help them take the first step to realizing their ambition with confidence and security.
Here are some tips for parents and young bloggers to help them step safely and securely into the exciting new world of blogging.
Secure your accounts
A social media account is often the face of a blogger’s brand. Protecting it should be your first priority.
Be sure that you set up two-factor authentication on your kid’s accounts, requiring them to log in with more than just a password. It is a reliable feature that creates a formidable barrier to anyone who might try to compromise a profile.
You should also take a look at your child’s privacy settings on social media sites and consider making posts only visible to selected friends and family.
Use strong passwords
A strong password limits the opportunity for an outsider to gain access to your child’s account. Nordpass publishes annual ratings of the weakest and most popular passwords that are easiest to crack. Take a moment to make sure your passwords aren’t in there.
Passwords should always be unique to each account. Your child might be tempted to re-use a password for ease of remembering, so spend some time helping them to make new ones.
The “Story Algorithm” method is a good way to create a strong password. To do this, first think of a phrase, song lyric or movie quote. Then take the first letter from the first five words and add a special character between every letter. You can then easily customize for each social network using associations, for example, adding the word “blue” at the end for a Facebook password, or “bird” for Twitter, and so on.
If it’s too difficult to remember passwords like that, consider using a password manager that will keep them safe and even come up with new ones for you.
Don’t share everything
Sharing personal experiences can help a blogger feel connected and attract new subscribers, but it can also threaten her security. For example, it could be fun for a young blogger to talk about what kind of dog she wants to buy and ask her followers for opinions. But it would not be safe to place a geotag with the address of your house in the photo with the new pet.
Be sure to discuss the issue of privacy with your child, including what he can say and when it is better not to share personal details. For example, sharing posts of scans and photos online, especially IDs, tickets, and other documents, is not a good idea. It’s also advisable to keep geotags private and not share information about your location and travel plans. The blogger’s main e-mail address and phone number should be private. Consider setting up a PO box if your child plans to review or promote items or receive gifts.
Stay strong and stay calm
In an ideal world, everyone would relate to your child’s work and react positively and encouragingly to every new post or video. In the real one, unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
If your child has ambitions to become a blogger, it’s important that you prepare him for potential negativity. Remember that trolls or aggressors are looking for a reaction. The more attention that they receive, the more they will continue to write negative posts. To protect your child’s mental health, it is good practice to learn how to work with negative comments — you can teach your kid to ignore troll posts, delete negative comments or report insults to moderators. It might even be a good idea to turn off comments.
Blogging can be a great method of self-expression and an opportunity to meet like-minded people to discuss a variety of issues. This can make it a rewarding activity in the face of any negativity.
Be Wary of strangers
Not all followers are friendly or legitimate users, so your child should be prepared for suspicious users contacting her. In those cases, the best solution is generally to stop responding to messages or block any scam users. Red flags can include too much interest in your child’s personal life, as well as requests to share sensitive data.
Remember that everything your child shares with subscribers will become available to everyone. The last thing you want is for someone to take advantage of your child’s openness and try to steal card details, or hack her account for other purposes. It is important to remain vigilant.
Don’t be shy about involving yourself in your child’s online activities from an early age so it becomes an established norm and doesn’t feel formal or authoritative. Try to create an environment where you can freely discuss online experiences, including anything that makes him or her feel uncomfortable or threatened. Sharing your child’s blogging experience can be rewarding for you too.