Discussion Guide

Digging Into Digital Privacy

As kids spend more time online, they start to see people who seem to share their entire lives. A key point to introduce here is the difference between real life and what is shared on social media, as well as what is and isn’t appropriate to share online.
illustration of a shield inside a chat bubble coming out of a smart phone


Why talking about this is important

Many kids may start to become more private at home, it is also normal for them to be exploring things about themselves and each other, both in person and online. Communicating respect for their privacy will help build a foundation of trust, and can serve as an opening to talk about concerns. Approach your kids with curiosity about their online social activity, not as an investigator.

In this guide you will:

  • Learn more about how your kids think about privacy.
  • Create a foundation for privacy considerations as they enter the digital world.
  • Establish trust and set clear expectations about what privacy does and doesn’t mean in your relationship.

What to expect from your kid

This is a critical stage where kids start to want a bit more privacy from their parents. They may not want to tell you everything, but building trust with them to come to you when something goes sideways will help them navigate their privacy successfully.

First steps

How to start talking

Start the conversation early, with low pressure moments, to set boundaries around individual privacy, as well as how they interact with others online. Here are some key moments:
  • Beginning to use shared or personal devices without direct supervision.
  • Asking to download a new app or game — on your phone or their personal device when they have one.
  • If/when you install a monitoring app on their personal device.

What does privacy mean to you?

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Related Discussion Guides

Privacy intersects with several areas of digital safety and online, and can be an easy segway or addition to these other user guides.

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