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Staying Safe on Social Media This Holiday Season

In this podcast, we talk about the lure of social media and how it can impact our family relationships. We give lots of tips on keeping everyone safe and happy on social media during the holidays.

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Full Transcript of Podcast

Corinne 0:01
Well, hi, and welcome back to modern grandparenting. This week, we want to talk about some of those technology safety things that we just all of us like to overlook, I would say, but we want to stay safe during this holiday season. And we want to know what’s good to put on social media and what’s not so good. So that’s what this episode, number 15, is going to be about.

Welcome to our weekly podcast, modern grandparenting, where we discuss issues that grandparents must deal with in this changing world. From maintaining the best relationships with both our children and grandchildren, to giving you all kinds of ideas for what to do all year long, and hopefully making memories that will last a lifetime. Hey, Jim?

Jim 0:47

Corinne 0:48
How was your week? We did something special this week?

Jim 0:52
Well, if by special you mean buying a house, then you’re right. Well, we haven’t bought it yet. But we have an offer.

Corinne 0:59
We’re in the process of buying it.

Jim 1:01
That’s right, the offer was accepted. And I don’t know about you, but I’m having a hard time staying focused on anything. But getting into a new house getting out of this apartment that we’ve been living in for the last year.

Corinne 1:14
I certainly am to, I can live anywhere and that includes this 650 square foot apartment that we’ve been living in for a year, however, I’m going to tell you that I’m very much looking forward to moving into something three, four times larger, makes me happy.

Jim 1:34
And I’m sorry to say dear listeners, you hopefully anyway, you will no longer be hearing the roar of the traffic that drives by our apartment, non stop. We do a pretty good job of trying to filter all that out. So hopefully it’s not too noticeable. But, but it’s there.

Corinne 1:53
Yeah, anyway, we’ll probably be giving you updates on our house as it comes more and more to fruition. Just like anything, we’re gonna have lots of projects that are involved in it. And if this past week is any indication, we’ve got a brand new plumber, carpenter electrician, shall I say boy Friday helping us out with everything.

AJ definitely is taken to this whole, let’s get things fixed genre. He’s gonna be an FYIer for sure. He saw that one of the cupboard doors was laying on the table. And boy, he was ready to get that hammer, get that screwdriver, anything that he could to get that door hung the way it was supposed to.

Jim 2:41
He’s become a real pro with a screwdriver. Kind of shocking actually considering he’s only, what, 19 months old now. Because he knew exactly what to do with that screwdriver.

He’s not strong enough to do the turns yet. But pretty soon he’ll be taking things apart like the best of them, hopefully putting them back together to

Corinne 3:00
At any rate, we want to welcome you to Episode 15.

Jim 3:05
In this episode, we’re talking about staying safe on social media during the holiday season. Of course, it’s really important for most of these things we’re going to be talking about today that you keep them doing all year long. But it becomes really kind of important during the holiday season. Because this is a time of year actually, when your privacy, your security, your identity really is most at risk. This is one of the times of year when criminals are really focusing their attacks on grandparents. Well, and all people.

Corinne 3:44
And one of the reasons well, there’s a lot of different reasons. But one of them is simply because we are all busy. And maybe we’re not paying as close attention as we should to everything that we’re doing. So taking advantage of the stress of the holidays. And secondly, maybe they’re desperate, and they need to lay their hands on money somehow for their holiday. Whatever the reason, it does seem to be in an uptick of time when scams are more common. So we just want to bring that up again, we know you’re aware of it. Let’s go and tell them some tips in, you know, what they should look for and some things that they can give themselves for Christmas.

Jim 4:27
Sure. Well, I think we’ll start with some general safety, online safety. These are things that we’ve been kind of talking around quite a bit. I think there are also a lot of things that we were focusing on as teachers, with our students teaching them to be better digital citizens. And really, it’s never too late to learn anything. That’s the way we see it anyway.

Corinne 4:56
Or to be reminded.

Jim 4:58
Or just to be reminded or maybe to take the time to go back and, and look at something that we’ve set up in the past and maybe should make some adjustments to. So one thing you can really do during this holiday season is to take the time and go through your whole personal password list, if you will, although hopefully you don’t have them written down anywhere.

The number of websites that we all log into every day, credit cards, apps, everything that has its own password. Keeping those secure is super important. And there’s a lot of ways you can do. Some are better than others. Some are worse than others, for sure. What we really encourage people to do is of course, have unique passwords on everything you do. And then we also like to tell people don’t write down your passwords. So that can be really challenging. Especially if you’re using a unique password everywhere.

There are some things you can do, you can use a memory, mnemonic, maybe a line from a favorite poem, and then turn each of the first letters from each word in line into just a nonsense word or take that letter and use that letter.

Corinne 6:23
I think that you could make up your own code, everybody likes to make a code. So maybe using 10 letters or 13 letters and 13 symbols and numbers, you make your code. This is what this means, a is this, B is this, and nobody knows it, but you. And then you can write whatever your password is that you want to write for that one, but it’s in your code. So if you know the word is “securitydog”, but it’s written in code, that’s a lot of levels to get through for any hacker.

Jim 6:53
Yeah, that’s a good way to do it. 10 to 13 is an OK password, 14 characters would be best. And of course, we should all have a mixture of uppercase, lowercase numbers, and special characters. Now granted, most systems that you’re logging into these days are going to enforce that. So you don’t really have a choice, which is a good thing. But anyway, it’s still going to become so convoluted with all these passwords, what can you do? Well, of course, this is a technological problem. And naturally technology has an answer.

Corinne 7:34
How quaint.

Jim 7:35
So what we recommend is you get some sort of password security program. A password security program keeps all of your passwords in a secure encrypted location. That’s reinforced with two factor authentication. So you have one master password that you can get in and manage your encrypted location with and make that one as superstrong meaningless garbage password, that would be extremely difficult to memorize if you had 20 of those to memorize. But if you only have the one master password to memorize, it’s very doable.

And, you know, if you’re really bad with memory, I suppose you could write it down and put in a safety deposit box somewhere and keep it locked up. So those work really good. And once you’ve installed the app on your phone and on your computer, it’s going to keep tracking it. And you’ll, for one thing, it’s a time saver, you’re not going to have to log into your accounts, typing in the password each time. And I don’t know about you. But when I get ready to type in one of those 14 character, nonsense passwords with special characters and numbers, and I’m always shifting between the thumb keypad on my phone, that can get really challenging to get your password in correctly. And we all know three strikes and you’re out right? So these password security apps are perfect for that.

Corinne 9:10
And thinking up passwords can be pretty difficult. But you do want to keep some kind of major rules in place. For example, on Facebook, we put a lot of information, right? We want to we have the names of our spouse of our kids of our grandkids have our dogs and our cats and our boat and whatever else and all of those things hackers will go straight to along with your birthdate if you have your birthdate on there. I have my birthday on there open but it doesn’t have the year so it’s only a part of it.

And I’m also very careful with Facebook, we’ll talk about that a little bit more. But you can on your Facebook, one of the most important things is go in there and change your privacy settings so that only your friends and family can see your posts. And as a second step, you could remove your friends list from your profile.

Because what happens is, if a hacker does get in and they do see your friends list, there’s their list of who to contact and say, “Did I tell you that Corinne got arrested, and she needs $3,000? bail money.” And it’s real quick. It’s Hush, hush. We didn’t want to embarrass her. But if you’ll just give us that $3,000 Well, Karelian get arrested. Not yet. And she wouldn’t be sending you that email anyway. So those are all little things that you can do to just at least get started.

Jim 10:43
Yeah, removing your friends list from your profile is a really good idea. Because another way that a hacker can attack you is getting those lists of friends. And then friending, trying to friend all those people, and chances are that most of them aren’t going to take that friend request. But some might. And if they then try to give you a friend request coming from that hacker, and you notice that there are two or three of your friends that are friends with that person, you’re more likely to accept them as a friend, and then they’ve got access to your Facebook as a friend. So I think that’s a great idea. Yeah, friends list off.

Corinne 11:24
And we’ve all seen those fake Facebook friend requests come in. I’ve had a few that are from people that I’m already friends with. I mean, I think most people have had those. I’ve even had a few of people that I know of deceased. That’s right. And I mean, that’s just sad. But of course, a hacker doesn’t know they’re deceased. But I guarantee you they’re not not friending.

Jim 11:48
Yeah, so really on Facebook, be careful of friend requests.

Corinne 11:56
And then the other thing, just as a reminder, when you’re in your email, don’t open attachments. Most attachments are not something you need to open, unless it comes from someone you’re waiting for a business person or an actual, you know, family member that you know send you photos all the time. It’s an unusual thing to send an attachment. And so many people open them, but just don’t do it.

Jim 12:23
But it goes beyond attachments. It’s the links themselves, it could be a button, it could be a word in the text that says, Click here. And it can seem like it’s coming from a trusted source. It may have the name of your bank or your doctor or you know, any number of agencies or organizations that you are familiar with. And it might even sound like a legitimate thing; Amazon telling you that your last order didn’t go through. Well, we all place orders on Amazon pretty regularly, which we’ll talk about when you see something like that. Your inclination is to click on the button in the email, well, once you’ve clicked on the button,

Corinne 13:07
it already sends off the signal to corrupt.

Jim 13:09
Well, you’re prettty much doomed. It could be doing any number of things from that click, it might just be taking you to a site where they want to collect information. That’s bad enough. But it might also be installing an app, a program on your computer to track your keystrokes. Activate your camera. I mean, there’s all kinds of things that can happen.

Corinne 13:31
So if you want to track gifts that you’ve bought online, if you see an email and you’re worried about it, just close the mail, and then go to that app directly. And it’ll have your orders and your status of the orders right there. So then you know you’ve initiated the contact, don’t go with the link from an email, just don’t do it.

Jim 13:51
No, don’t do it. If it’s something from what sounds like your bank, go to your bank website, if it’s something from your PayPal account, go to the PayPal.

Corinne 14:01
And even if it’s a family member who you don’t normally hear from or something, email him, you know, don’t reply, but email them separately. Or Message them, “I just received an email from you that said, whatever it says, And Is this legitimate or not?” Because you know what, unfortunately, a lot of times it will not be legitimate. So just check them out. It only takes a couple of extra keystrokes.

Jim 14:23
Yeah, well, and one simple thing that a lot of people don’t know or don’t realize that you can kind of weed out some of these emails we’re talking abot here. There’s a couple of good tips that I can give. One is when you’re looking at your email program, and it gives the list of the messages and it says who it’s from. It usually tells you who it’s from, and it might even give an email address that looks legitimate. Well, you don’t really know for sure until you put your mouse cursor-this works on a computer but doesn’t work as good on a phone I guess-but if you put your mouse cursor over the from line in your mail program and let it rest for two seconds, it’ll give you a little popup message that gives the actual email address that the message came from. It doesn’t just take that title that’s showing, it gives the real underlying address. And so many times you’ll notice that it has absolutely nothing to do with who they say they are.

Corinne 15:30
But you know what? I’ve received scam emails from Guess who? Corinne Vail? Oh, yes. Because they will go in there and they will use your name. And so obviously, I know I didn’t send that email to myself. So the first thing, the other thing I’m gonna tell you to do, and you might get tired of doing this, but to me, it’s worth it. I do it every single day. And that is go up and report it and block them.

Jim 15:52
Anything you get suspicious like that report it. It’s a phishing attack. And if you’re not sure what a phishing attack is, it’s like a social engineering system where an attacker is sending you an email, that sounds like something you need to respond to, and give them information or take some action that’s going to be damaging to you. So just be on the lookout for those. And yeah, like you said, report them.

Corinne 16:23
Well, okay, so is there anything else for general safety email?

Jim 16:29
Well, going along the same route of the email, a lot of people are using messenger apps, too. And you can get these same types of attacks in Facebook Messenger. So if you get a message from somebody that seems like it’s someone you know, but wants you to do something, click on something in the message itself, think twice about it, maybe check in with them on an email or a call, before you start clicking something that doesn’t seem quite right. I think that’s about it.

Corinne 17:00
I think the hackers are getting pretty good, though. As a matter of fact, it happened to my mother in law, Jim’s stepmom. And it was just like we mentioned, she received an email about one of the nephews, her grandson’s, who supposedly had gotten himself in to a little trouble partying, drinking a little bit too much. And then did he get arrested?

Jim 17:25
Yeah, and he needed bail money.

Corinne 17:26
And he needed bail money. And I think it was right about $3,000. They, they tend to pick amounts of money that are low enough that you can easily write a check for. But you may not do a whole lot of checking, because you want to help out your whoever, as soon as possible. And they’ll put that sense of urgency. You don’t have time to do anything. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, whatever it is, right?

So they sent the money. Then, after they sent the money, they called the nephew or the the grandson. And guess what? He was just fine. He had not been arrested. And so they were out $3,000. So it has happened to people that we know. And it sounds like, “Well, that would never happen to me.” But I pretty much pay attention to my spam emails all the time. And there’s some good ones out there. There really are, some of them are hard to detect. So just be careful.

Jim 18:20
Well, you know, another reason why this is the time of year where it I think is more prevalent, is because people are in that kind of charitable giving mood. And so we’re all more willing to try and help out when we can. Because that’s the time of year it is. So it’s also the time of year to be more vigilant.

Corinne 18:38
Vigilant, exactly. So in our last episode, one of the things we talked about was traveling during the holidays, which Jim and I highly recommend. But you know, it’s not for everyone. But if you do, there’s a few things that you want to pay attention to in that regard as well. First of all, when you’re on social media, whether it’s Facebook, or Instagram, a lot of these different apps have what they call a check in. And so you go to Bakery Rondolo and you look at your phone, it dings and it says, “Do you want to check in?”

“…check in with your friends? blah, blah, blah,” yeah, knows who you’re there with and everything.

It knows who you’re with, it knows where you are. And it just asks you that simple question Do you want to check in? A lot of people say yes, that’s why they do this, because a lot of people don’t mind sharing where they are. Here’s the problem. When you do that, when you’re traveling, it lets people know that you’re not at home. And it gives them the opportunity, not that you’re your friends…

I mean, of course we’re not talking about your friends and family. But you don’t know who’s been hacked or when people have been hacked. And it’s just safer to not check in when you’re traveling. Maybe ever, but that’s up to you. What I always suggest, because I’m a huge traveler, and we travel a lot, we’re always going to places that are really fun. And we like sharing, and we’re on social media. But what we like to do is we will take a picture. And then that night, or the next day, or if we’re going to be there a week, the next week, that’s when we post it.

So it’s not like the memory is lost. It’s not like you don’t get to share how much fun you’re having. But one, you’re not inundating your family and friends with everything. Yeah, because let’s face it, anything over 10 pictures is too many. Ten is even pushing it, maybe four or five is a good number. One a day, a couple of times a day, people love that. But when it’s too much, think about how much you love that.

Jim 20:50
Yeah, if you’re just sharing the photos from a vacation like that, you don’t want people to know that you’re away from home. Like we said, take your photos, take all the photos you need to. And then when you get home, set up an album that shows the top 10 or the top 20 pictures from your whole trip. That way you get a nice curated album that’s not inundating them with five pictures of the same thing. You can really spend some thought about it. And you can spend some time giving captions and making it a nice, really shareable album. That’s not going to show everybody “hey I’ve been gone for a week.”

Corinne 21:28
That everybody will love.

Jim 21:30
Yeah, people appreciate it, and you will be safer because of it.

Corinne 21:34
Another thing, and again, a lot of this is reminders, and we’re well aware of that. But it doesn’t hurt to hear them when travel is imminent. Have someone stop by your house a couple of times a day, if you have a smart device, you might be able to do some of it without having someone come by. You can set your Alexa or your Google to turn on the lights or turn on some music or whatever you want for a couple of hours each day. So it looks like someone’s there. So that part of it is a little bit easier.

Jim 22:07
But there’s also any number of devices, camera devices that you can set up at your front door or on your back porch, that are activated by movement. So not only can you turn on the lights from movement at the front door at night, but you can also have that start recording and give you a message saying hey, there’s movement at your front door or your back door. And then you can open your app and you can see exactly what that movement is caused by. The neighbor’s cat maybe is depositing a mouse for your Christmas present.

Corinne 22:40
But if it’s something like UPS or, you know, one of the delivery companies that you maybe want to set up with someone close by. “I just got a package, would you mind going up there and grabbing it and set it in your garage until I get back or something?” Someone that you trust. But that way you don’t have piles of packages laying outside of your door either.

Jim 22:59
Yeah, and those are cheap and easy to install. And I think for peace of mind, they’re priceless.

Corinne 23:08
Yeah. So we’ll put a couple of ideas down in the show notes.

Jim 23:12
Well, I’ve been researching it now because, as you know, we’re buying a house. So these are things that we’re going to be putting into our house and I want to make sure I get the best value for my money that’s also going to do the best job.

Corinne 23:27
Well, I know that my daughter EriKa has one of the programs that has the camera outside your front door. And it was so funny, because right after we moved back here from Japan last summer, we went and took the dog out. And she immediately texted us and said, “Oh, don’t forget that he just has his new medication. So don’t scratch him on his back.” And I was like, oh, gosh, that is just so weird that she knew that we were bringing him out to take a walk. But you know what? That’s good. She knows what’s going on. Everybody knows what’s going on. It’s on the up and up. And it makes everyone feel safe and secure.

Jim 24:06
Oh, yeah, definitely. If you are installing something like that your family should know about it. It shouldn’t be something that is a secret. Like you’re spying on people or anything like that. Of course.

Corinne 24:20
I don’t think they would do that.

Jim 24:21
Well. Elf on the Shelf.

Corinne 24:24
Well, let’s see. No, I’m not getting into that.

Alright, so one of the things about the holiday season is buying gifts, and foods and trinkets and decor and all kinds of fun things that you can get delivered right to your door. So we already talked about this a little bit. If you get someone saying something about your package, and you’re not sure it’s legit, go straight to the app and check it online there.

We also mentioned not having too many deliveries while you’re gone, hopefully everything’s gotten there but we know how it goes, and especially this year with the delays that we’re encountering, it’s a good idea to try and get your shopping done early. And hopefully everything will be in before you leave. I think that it’s kind of nice to get it done early and have it just already there and not have to worry about it during the actual holiday season. that’s even true if you’re not going anywhere. Because as we know, from every commercial on TV, there are people that will steal other people’s packages. That’s right, and what a pain. You don’t realize it’s stolen until, you know, you’re like, wait a minute…

Jim 25:38
You get that delivery notification, and you never got it.

Yeah, and you didn’t receive it. So just to keep things a little bit easier just try to do it as early as possible and keep an eye out so that things aren’t sitting outside for too long. Well just the other day I had two packages delivered. And most of the times, you know, they’ll knock on the door and tell you. I was here all day, they must have been out there for six or seven hours, which is just not good. Because it looks like you’re not home and it can invite more issues than you want to deal with.

Yeah, more than just a thief coming in stealing the boxes off your porch.

Corinne 26:13
Exactly. And one of the options to as you’re, I’m sure, aware, is that you can send it straight to the recipient, and you don’t even have to be the middleman anymore. I mean, you’ve bought it, you’ve addressed it. And it’s sending it to the recipient themselves. And a lot of times they’ll even gift wrap it up for you.

Jim 26:34
That’s right, look for that option. Just a little checkbox, and it’s free. Usually.

Corinne 26:38
What I do when I have sent a gift is I let the person know, “I’ve just ordered your gift. It should be there, according to my computer, it should be there by December 7. Yeah. So keep your eyes open for it. And if you haven’t received it, let me know. And I’ll check on the status.”

Jim 26:56
And if you weren’t able to have it gift wrapped, you can tell them, “It’s not wrapped. So if you don’t want to ruin the surprise, don’t open the box until Christmas.” Or you can tell them, “Hey, it’s wrapped. So go ahead and open the box and put the gift under the tree.”

Corinne 27:11
Yeah. So I mean, it’s really kind of bittersweet, isn’t it, online purchasing? I personally love it. Because I’m not a fan of going through stores and waitingin lines.

Jim 27:24
Shoppings at Christmas time in general, my least favorite thing.

Corinne 27:27
I do like listening to the carols that they pipe over the speakers.

Jim 27:30
I like the Carol’s. I like getting a glass of mulled wine.

Corinne 27:35
Do they give you molled wine?

Jim 27:36
No. That’s why I don’t like to go shopping.

Corinne 27:39
You can have some while you’re looking online.

Jim 27:40
Or at a Christmas market, then you can just drink some mulled wine while everybody else is doing their shopping.

Corinne 27:46
Yeah, well, that’s an odd thing to bring up. But okay. Yeah, I am not a big fan of going out shopping anyway, haven’t been for a number of years. But on the other hand, there are some things you need to look out for and just be aware of when you’re ordering online. Another thing that happens, and I’m sure you’ve seen it, because I’ve seen it, I’m not even a big shopper online. And I’ve seen it a lot this season.

And that is Facebook and Instagram and everybody showing advertisements for these really cool things that they know I like. They know I have a toddler, the All Knowing everywhere, the Google Instagram, the Facebook, they all know I have a toddler in my life that I want to buy things for. Because guess what, I buy a lot of things for him. So they know that.

And so I get advertisement, after advertisement, after advertisement about wonderful things to buy that little toddler. Just know that a lot of those are not from companies that are I don’t know how you say? Well, it’s not that they’re not reputable. It’s just that they’re just like a pop up store. They’re like a pop up internet, overnight sensation.

They had an idea. And they bought 200 booties or puzzles for your toddler, or whatever it is. And they made a little webpage. They did a Facebook ad. They’re gonna sell them that way. They’re gonna make $6,000, $10,000 whatever and they’re done.

Jim 29:22
So they’re legitimate they actually have the product.

Corinne 29:26
Usually they’re legitimate, okay, but they might take longer in the distribution chain because they don’t have, they have to rely on other delivery systems. And they’re not going to offer more and when you go into their site, they might have you know, 10 things on offer.

Jim 29:43
Well that actually happened last year with one of the things that I bought for Michael was from one of those small websites. Actually, I think it was for Marcus. Some kind of gaming system component that he wanted. And we ordered it and they said they are going to deliver it and then it got canceled. And then it was just messed up. And I think that’s exactly what it was. It was a very short run shop, they only had so much of the item. And once that was sold out, they still took a couple of orders. It was very difficult to actually get the refund for that. But we did get the refund for it.

Corinne 30:22
And then we had to find one somewhere else.

Jim 30:24
So here we are thinking something is purchased and done shopping, and then all of a sudden it comes up and no, we’re not done. We have to find it somewhere else. Yeah, so that can happen. And it could also be that it is not a legitimate website. How do you tell? I think it’s very difficult. It’s very, very difficult.

Corinne 30:49
And what would you do? If you found out say, we ordered that thing we did last year and it and the same sort of actions happened where it was out of stock? And then you didn’t know what to do and it was an illegitimate business.

Jim 31:02
And you took your money, they charged your credit card? Well, first of all, you’d contact your credit card company and report that, that sale as a fraudulent sale, after you’ve done everything you can to contact the company. And they’re pretty good at chasing down those things. And they they will also do, I believe, the reporting for like the criminal activity, if there’s any criminal activity that can be reported. Unfortunately, I think it’s very difficult. Once they’re gone, it was just a, you know, I buy something on the internet that had no real location attached to it. Yeah, so that’s challenging. But yeah, your credit card company is the first bet.

Corinne 31:45
I mean, there’s a couple of things, you can make sure that you’re doing to avoid them. And one is, unlike us, don’t buy something that is on this little tiny website that only sells 10 or 12 things, Then you kind of know it’s kind of a clue that says, “Hey, we don’t normally sell things. We’re just trying to make a quick buck during the season.” I mean, go to bigger names, all the big names are online, whether you want to shop at I don’t know, Target, Best Buy. Yeah, whatever. I mean, I don’t want to say names cuz, you know, we’re not sure. Yeah, we’re not endorsing the big companies. But at least you know that they’re more legitimate.

Jim 32:26
I like to look for local companies, of course. So what I do is I go to my maps program, and I’ll search for a store that specializes in what I’m looking for, and find that store locally, and then find their website and then go to the website from the map app. That’s usually a safe way to get there.

Corinne 32:44
And if they don’t have online ordering, usually they’ll do a curbside pickup or something because of the pandemic. So we’ve had some good things that came out of that pesky pandemic. Let me tell you curbside pickup was a good one. I think that’s pretty sweet stuff.

Jim 32:59
And yeah, and just being able to order online in so many places that you could not do that before. And it’s really good. Well, and to go along with that we talked about email, phishing scams. That is probably the number one phishing scam you’re going to see during the holiday season-fake messages about about orders, online orders that you may have made.

Corinne 33:24
Because they know that that’s a given. Everybody’s ordered something online.

Jim 33:27
Well you’re more stressed about gifts, right? Like we said, we just did our final gift we’re done. Oh, no, now I got this message thing. My gift for for Tommy is cancelled, backordered. And do I need to change the status? “Go ahead and click this button real quick. And we’ll take care of it.” You can really get trapped easily that way. Just like we said, Remember, go back to the website where you actually ordered it from. And check on your stuff there.

Corinne 33:53
We’re not trying to make the holidays seem even more stressful. We just want you to be aware of some of the things that we know happen because it changes so rapidly. That’s, you know, scammers, hackers, they are some of the most changing. I mean, they’re fast forward, you know, they jump on, if something’s new, they jump on it. So we have, we’re always playing catch up it seems like, so we just want to remind you what good practices are.

Jim 34:23
And the more you know, the less stress you’ll have because you’re not going to be being trapped by those things.

Corinne 34:28
So the last thing we want to talk about is just a little bit more about your family, your specific family, your grandchildren, and your relationship with your, your own children and what their wishes are for their children.

Jim 34:44
We’re talking about social media here, right?

Corinne 34:45
We’re talking about social media. So there’s a lot of issues that play into it. Because social media is what it is, there are a lot of parents out there who don’t want their kids on social media at all. They’ve told their grandparents, “don’t post any pictures of our kids online,” you might come across that. And if you do, I mean, respect their wishes, because they’re doing what they think is the best for their children. And nobody wants anything less than the best for the children. So there is that, however, they might not be quite as stringent.

And they might tell you, I don’t want you to post a photo, then of course, they turn around and post photos? Well, again, that’s their prerogative, they can post what they want to post. And if they don’t want you to post it again, I wouldn’t. But maybe they just don’t want you to supersede that. Maybe they want to be the first person to post little Amy and her little Christmas dress, not you, right. And again, that’s fair, you got to do that with your kids, although we didn’t have social media then. But along the same lines, you got to take the pictures and send them in the Christmas cards, or however you did it.

So once again, we’re advocating that you have a discussion with the parents of your grandkids. And say, “Do you mind if I take photos of them? Do you mind if I post them on social media? Are there any social media apps you don’t want them to be on?” And once you start the conversation, I’m sure it’ll bring up a lot, you’ll have a good conversation.

Jim 36:26
That’s right. And if if you bring it up, and you’re talking to your children about your grandchildren’s pictures, and they say, “Post whatever you want to post, it’s okay, we love having people see him.” You might want to have the conversation and say, “Okay, we love seeing them too. But maybe we need to be a little bit more careful about this, you should never put any identifying information about a child with a picture of that child, because child abduction is a serious, a serious problem in the world.” And you don’t want to give any help to criminals. So again, don’t include full names don’t include the addresses, the state, the city, where you’re at, when you’re showing a child’s picture online, ever.

Corinne 37:16
Don’t post the kids in front of your house with the number of the house or the street name, or the street sign or something, they can look up right on social media and see where you live. There is, as you know, Google Maps, if you’ve got part of an address, you can probably figure out where someone lives. So just stay away from all identifying features. Just be very cognizant of where they are, take close ups of them if they’re outside or put them in front of a tree or a bush, laying on the ground in the snow by the snowman, whatever. But just try to stay away from things that are going to be obvious.

Jim 37:56
What about in front of a sign that says Welcome to the Grand Canyon. Yeah, it’s a location.

Corinne 38:01
But it’s not their home location. Well, not just that, first of all, they don’t live there. So that’s a very good point. But secondly, or their family doesn’t live there. But secondly, you don’t want to do that the day that you’re there. Yeah. So you’re going into the Grand Canyon, you plan on spending a week there. Don’t post that picture until you get home. Make an album after the trip. We just want to reiterate that because it’s just safer for everyone involved.

Jim 38:27
And when we say no names, there’s good reasons for that. And we use AJ as a nickname for our grandson. But it’s not a name that we use with him. He would never recognize it if someone came up and said, “Hey, AJ, your mom told me to come pick you up.”

Corinne 38:45
He wouldn’t go with them because that’s not his name.

Jim 38:47
He’s not AJ, he doesn’t know who Aj is. So that’s really what we’re getting at here with the names.

Corinne 38:53
It’s not his name at all, has nothing to do with his name. He wouldn’t, he wouldn’t. Yeah, he wouldn’t recognize it. And that’s one good way to get around it. You could use a nickname. You could just say my grandson. At the same time maybe you don’t need to tag anybody at all. And just the people that know who he is, or know who she is, or know who your sister is or your nephew, they know them. You don’t have to identify them. And if they’re old enough to be tagged, well then you can tag the adults and not the children, things like that. I just think it’s safer, a: not to do it in real time. Do it after the fact. And b: not to post any type of information together. For example, let’s say this weekend is your sister’s birthday. “Oh, we’re going over to Mimi’s house. It’s her birthday. She was born in 1967. Can you believe that? And oh gosh, but she lives in the most beautiful neighborhood. It’s called Fern Hill and its in Tacoma, Washington. Oh my gosh.

I’m just trying to get things off the top of my head. But my point is by doing that you’re giving out so much information that seems innocuous, but it’s not. So it’s just best to stay away from all that altogether. First of all, a picture tells 1000 words, right? That’s what they say. So if you show a picture of you, hugging your sister, and she’s wearing a birthday crown or something that has a birthday cake in front of her, do you need to say anything more? No. It’s all there for them.

So we just like you to be safe. We want you to have the best set of holidays, the best season that you can have, without any stress, without gift stress, without social media stress, without arguing with your family stress, because all of those things happen. So we just thought, hey, for our gift to you, we want to remind you of some of those. Those quicksands. You can get your boots on and sidestep them. We hope that you can get something out of what we’ve just talked about and spread the word. Tell your kids again, tell your grandkids what’s safe and what’s not safe. Tell your next door neighbor. We want everybody to have a great season right?

Jim 41:30
Be good digital citizens. Be safe online.

Corinne 41:34
Don’t fall for the scams.

Jim 41:38
Thanks for joining us this week on modern grandparenting. For more on all things grandparents, go to our website at Grannies go Digital. By signing up for our newsletter you’ll never miss out. Also join us on Facebook and our private Facebook group. And, you know, if you like what you’ve heard, hit the subscribe button.

Corinne 41:57
I just want to put in a little commercial before we sign off, Jim.

Okay, guys, we’re coming to the end of season one. And we want to thank you guys for being such wonderful listeners. We will be starting Season Two in January. We’re not finished yet. But what we’re looking for is we’re looking for grandparents who have done some really cool things with their grandkids.

We’d like you to be on the podcast. So if you’re interested, just send us a contact form off the website. And we’ll be in contact with you. I mean, have you done things like volunteer with them? Have you gone on a long hike with them? What have you donet hat’s really, really special? We’d love to have you on the podcast. So think abot it.

Jim 42:43
Thanks for listening and happy grandparenting!

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