Privacy concerns are one of the many reasons parents don’t like their children using Facebook. Facebook states that you must be at least 13 to have an account, however we all know that there are many younger children jumping onto the popular social networking site.
If your children are using Facebook or are thinking about joining, I would recommend some of the following safety precautions:
1. Set up the Account with your child
2. In the privacy settings change settings to “Friends Only” for most settings such as Search for You, Send You Messages and Send you Friend Request. Whilst other settings such as All Contact Details and Location should be changed to “Only Me”
3. Add your email address to their account and make sure all notifications settings are turned on. This way you will get an email for all activity on their account and you can stop any potential threats early.
4. Talk to your children about safety online. Cover some topics such as:
- only becoming friends with people they actually know
- never giving out their mobile number or their location online
- remind them that anything they post is forever on the internet and it will be around for a very long time and it may affect their future.
Facebook can be a wonderful extension to your child’s life allowing them to interact with their friends, stay in contact with family who don’t live near by, so make sure your children are safe online.
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