Sharing Personal Information

Because it’s easy to make and share copies of things online, anything you share might be seen by just about anyone. Before you post or share anything about yourself – a picture, information about your life, contact info like your address or phone number – ask these questions:

- Is this how I want people to see me?

- Could somebody use this to hurt me?

- Would I be upset if they shared it with others?

- What’s the worst thing that could happen if I shared this?

Never share anything you don’t want to. Don’t ever let anyone push you into sharing something you don’t want to, especially things like embarrassing, sexy or nude pictures.

If you do share something like that and the person you sent it to shares it with someone else, you have the right and the power to get it deleted. Sharing intimate images of someone without their consent is a crime in Canada, and courts have the power to have photos taken off the Internet. See the MediaSmarts tipsheet Help! Someone Shared a Photo of Me Without My Consent for what to do next.

It’s also important to think twice before sharing someone else’s content. Don’t ever share something that you’re not sure the person who made it wants shared, especially if people seeing it might hurt or humiliate them. It doesn’t matter what the content is (good or bad) or what you think they would want – make sure they’ve told you it’s okay before you share it.

That’s still true if you get it from somebody besides the person who made it. Just because they shared it with one person, doesn’t mean they wanted that person to share it with you!

Some things – like credit card information, other banking information or your Wattpad password – should never be shared with anyone except your parents. Wattpad will never ask you for your banking information through private messages.