I recently had my 11 year old niece’s friend add me as a friend on facebook, using an assumed name!! I had only met this young girl once at a school event, she didn’t know me at all, besides the fact that I was her friend’s aunt! It has prompted me to write a series of articles on child safety with social networking. I have been taking
many notes regarding Children using Facebook and this will be the first instalment in the series of articles to help educate parents who are unsure how to protect their child online and are sometimes oblivious to the fact that their
child is even using the internet.
- Page security for Facebook can be rather complicated and teens may believe their page is private, when
really it is not. (More on this in future articles)
- Your teen needs to be aware that most schools are now monitoring social networking sites and checking on
students with open pages after many complaints from parents regarding online bullying and harassment.
Schools have had to take a stand against this behaviour and Children can be reprimanded at school for
inappropriate behaviour online and made accountable for their actions.
- Many young students (under 13) are using assumed names for their Facebook accounts, making it difficult for
parents to search Facebook for their child. (Searching using their email address or mobile number is an option
to find their account though).
- If your teen is on Facebook, they shouldn’t have a problem with their parent or guardian being “on their friends
list” if they have nothing to hide.
- Teens using Facebook or Twitter should only be friends with people they actually know and are friends with in
person, not people they know of, friends of friends or complete strangers – no matter how cute their profile
picture may be!!
Facebook was not created with children in mind. It is meant for adults and late-teens, not young children who are naive to the extreme dangers that sharing their personal life online can lead to, let alone the complex problems of on-line bullying.
Encourage your child to wait until they are 13 to have a Facebook Account. If you are one of the parents who keeps hearing “but Sarah’s Mum lets her have an account, why can’t I?”, be confident in your response, that you care about your child’s security and wellbeing, while clearly some parents are oblivious to the dangers of young children using social networking.
This is the first instalment in my series of articles to inform and educate Parents of the dangers of social networking for children.
If you have any queries or questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Blue Bird Internet Marketing & Social Media