Young people are sharing too much online

Using a blank card, this millennial demonstrates how much credit card information you should post on social media.
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Using a blank card, this millennial demonstrates how much credit card information you should post on social media.

OPINION: To be young is to be inexperienced, especially when it comes to judging risk.

Some things I did when young make me shudder now.

One riotous night in Santiago, Chile drinking the home-made liquor of some people I had just met has, I am sure, left a blemish on my liver that will never recover. I was 21.

Social media is a place where crooks seek easy prey.
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Social media is a place where crooks seek easy prey.

But I'm not sure even I was ever naive enough to post a picture of my first ever credit card on social media for the world to see.

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I almost fell off my chair in disbelief when the new anti-scam educator at the Commission for Financial Capability told me that actually sometimes happened.

Bronwyn Groot, the manager of fraud education at the Commission for Financial Capability.
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Bronwyn Groot, the manager of fraud education at the Commission for Financial Capability.

Bronwyn Groot got into spreading the word about financial fraud when she was at BNZ.

She was a teller in a small town, and saw often elderly customers ripped off by heartless overseas criminals, or by family.

Now, she's been hired by the commission in a bid to spread that word more widely.

Groot said some young people were doing astoundingly naive and trusting things online.

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Examples included posting pics of their new credit cards social media, close ups where their friends and strangers could read the numbers.

Hey, look at me, I'm grown-up enough to have my own credit card!

Some also posted pics of their passports with the pages open.

People were loose with addresses, let the wider world know when their birthday was, and when they were away from home.

In Britain, young social media credit card posting is such a problem credit card companies actually send new cards out with a warning begging people not to do it.

Clearly, we older humans born in ages when privacy was the norm, need to let our younger relatives know what is okay online, but like me, you may well be blindsided by such risky behaviour.

It can be hard for any one of us to know what other people get up to in their private, or in this case not-so-private lives, especially when we have taken a respectful step back to allow them their freedom and (ironically) privacy.

There can be big cultural differences between generations, too, but we may not recognise just how big.

An Australian survey by Monash University earlier this year of more than 4000 people indicated one in five people aged 16 or over had suffered "image abuse" when an intimate image of them had been circulated without their consent. It had happened to one in four aged 20-29, and one in three 16-19 year-olds.

Look, I knew it was happening, but I'd never have guessed quite how much swapping of intimate images was going on among the young.

Back when my generation might have been inclined to such behaviour, we'd have needed a polaroid camera, an envelope and a stamp to send such images, or a video camera and a padded envelope.

Being there as a wise money counsellor for the younger adults in your family is hard.

It requires keeping your eyes and ears open, and keeping on having conversations where you take nothing for granted.

GOLDEN RULES:
* Take care what you share
* Watch over your young ones
* Guard against fraud

 - Stuff

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