Michael Dell’s daughter all at sea on social networks – how do your kids measure up?

Michael Dell, the eponymous billionaire founder of the computer company Dell, has been in the news for all the wrong reasons this week.

Despite spending millions each year on security for his family, Dell’s children don’t seem to have the hang of online safety. His daughter has apparently been suspended from Twitter for being too open with details of the family’s activities and whereabouts.

But what about your children? Do they have their social networking behaviours under control? For that matter, do you?

Here are five simple suggestions you can give your children. You can also demonstrate the efficacy of these suggestions by following them yourself!

1. Turn geolocation services off. Giving out regular and precise updates of your whereabouts is convenient – but you should consider your location to be a form of PII (personally identifiable information).

2. Don’t advertise or give details about times you won’t be at home, or will be alone, or might otherwise be vulnerable.

3. Ask your friends every single time if it’s OK before you include them in posts and photos you put online.

4. Unashamedly expect your friends to do the same for you in return. Stick to your guns on this.

5. Set aside occasional days when you stay off social networks altogether to reduce your dependence on them.

Granted, each and every one of these will reduce the fun you have online very slightly. They all require self-discipline. And one of them may cause tension between you and your friends.

But why not give them a try? Let us know how you get along.