Social Smarts: Privacy, the Internet, and You

Canadian kids and teens are digitally savvy when it comes to social media and the internet—after all, they are digital natives. Unfortunately, many kids and teens do not yet understand the scope of their privacy and the potential risks associated with having an “open” profile online.

In an effort to show kids and teens how to better protect themselves online and to understand privacy concerns, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has created this graphic novel, Social Smarts: Privacy, the Internet and You. The short 12-page novel follows a brother (Dave) and sister (Amy) who learn about the privacy risks related to social networking, phone passwords and online gaming.

We are also given insight from Amy’s phone who advises the two on why they shouldn’t be sharing their every move online. The phone says that,

“Every time you update your status, check in to a location, post a photo or use any other social networking site or app, you’re sharing that information with tons of people out there! Unless you lock your privacy settings down super-tight pretty much anybody who knows your name can figure out a lot more about you than you might think!”

The novel is a great resource for anyone looking to learn more about their online privacy. It explains how posting little details about yourself can paint a big picture of who you are, how it’s impossible to delete a picture or comment once it has been posted online, and why privacy settings and using difficult passwords can help mitigate privacy risks.  This is a great resource for mentors to start a conversation with their Littles about online activities and explore how privacy challenges can be avoided.

This graphic novel is available online and can be found here.