9 Things Your Teen Should Never Post on Social Media

Don't let your teen share these things with the world.

Never let your teen post these types of things on social media.
Brendan O'Sullivan / Photolibrary / Getty Images

Even the strictest of privacy settings aren’t enough to guarantee that your teen’s social media posts won’t become public. Once the information is shared on online, it’s available in cyberspace for an eternity.

Teens often think that sharing personal information on social media is harmless. They assume their friends are the only people who can access their information. They don’t realize that a friend may forget to log out of Facebook when using a public computer, or a friend’s account could get hacked, exposing such information to potential predators.


Talk to your teen about safe social media strategies. Educate yourself about the social networks today's teens are using. Then, talk to your teen about social media etiquette and tell her to never post these nine things on online:

1. Personal Information that Could Lead to Identity Theft

Social media sites, like Facebook, encourage users to complete personal biographies. But entering the requested information, like date of birth, invites identity theft. Tell your teen if she’s going to announce her birthday, don’t include the year. And make it clear that she's not allowed to share her address and phone number.

2. Private Family Information

There are lots of personal family issues that should remain private. Sharing things like, “My sister failed her math final today!” or, “My dad thinks he may lose his job,” on social media isn’t appropriate.

Talk to your teen about the importance of protecting family member’s privacy.

Establish a rule that says no one should make information about one another public without permission.

3. Personal Problems

It’s common for teens to experience friendship issues and relationship drama. But it’s not appropriate to share the details on social media for all the world to read. Make it clear to your teen that personal problems do not belong in a public space like social media.

4. Pictures with Geotags

Teens enjoy taking pictures with their smartphones, and most of them are unaware that many of those photos provide data about where each picture was taken. Sharing those pictures online gives other people the ability to gain the exact location of where a teen lives or spends time. Make sure your teen deactivates the GPS tag option in a camera’s setting before making any personal photos public.   

5. Plans to be Home Alone

Announcing things like, “My parents are going away this weekend,” or, “I’m always home alone after school,” is unsafe. Prohibit your teen from sharing such information online. I

t's also important that your teen refrain from sharing a lot of personal plans about where she's going to be and who she's going to be with.

6. Jokes, Quotes, or Memes that Others May Find Offensive

Liking, retweeting, or sharing content that is offensive can lead to a trouble. Commenting on questionable content or sharing cartoons that are inappropriate is problematic.

Even if your teen didn't create the original message, interacting with such content could be harmful to her online reputation.

Unfortunately, many teens get caught up in spreading content and they believe that as long as they didn't create it, sharing it doesn't cause any harm. 

7. Things They Wouldn’t Want a Future Employer to See

Teens often struggle to think about how their behavior is likely to impact their future. Explain that once information gets shared on social media, it could be viewed by others at a later date.

Make it clear that a future employer or college admissions officer isn’t going to be impressed if she shares questionable content. Encourage her to ask herself, “Would it be OK for a future boss to see this?” before she posts anything.

8. Inappropriate Photos

While silly pictures can be fun, teens are often tempted to take things too far. Many of them can’t resist posting sexually suggestive selfies or photos that depict them engaging in questionable behavior.

Such pictures are often a quick way for teens to attract attention, which often bolsters their self-esteem. Talk to your teen about the dangers of posting inappropriate pictures online.

9. Rude Comments About Others

People often say things on the internet that they wouldn’t say in person. Arguments can quickly turn into threats and name calling.

Make it clear to your teen that social media isn’t a place for bullying or slandering others. Tell her to only use kind words and to never post something that she wouldn't say to someone in a face-to-face conversation.

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