Under age kids who join Facebook are not aware or old enough to understand the dangers involved when on Facebook. I have seen these kids engage themselves in online chat with people they neither know. These kids connect as well as send invites to connect with them to people whom they are not familiar with.
Our observation also reveals that most of the children using Facebook don’t use privacy settings. This makes them more vulnerable to stalkers and cyber bullying on the social networking sites. Most of the children do not configure their Facebook account properly and publicly display their profile including address and phone numbers. Facebook for kids is kind of whole new world but at the same time there are predators who are actively searching for next victim. I here by advise all the parents to take out some time and make sure your child’s Facebook account has right privacy settings and restrictions in place. One can follow below basic guidelines to start with:
– First of all do not allow kids under 13 to join Facebook at all. Try to explain and educate the kid that it is not safe for him/her to be on Facebook before age and he/she can do it when they are of appropriate age and you will be the one who will help in opening the account. Parents can be right judge to determine when they feel their children are mature and responsible enough to join social networking sites like Facebook.
– If your child is above 13 years of age and has opened Facebook account the first thing you should do is make sure he/she configures the right privacy settings. Configure the privacy settings of the child’s Facebook account to be accessible only to friends and not with everybody. Its important to understand the privacy settings provided by Facebook and teach your kids how to control their privacy.
– Connect yourself (and other seniors from family members) to kids account as a friend. So that you will keep on receiving all the posts that the child is putting to all his friends. In this way you will be aware of what’s going on the child’s Facebook account and can guide your child if he/she is posting messages/photos they should not be posting. Inappropriate pictures, messages can result in damage to a child’s reputation. It is good to teach your kids to think before they post. It is important for kids to understand that anything they create or post can be copied, altered and sent around.
– Restrict your child’s online time as many kids spend hours and hours on Facebook without them knowing how much time they have been online. Its good to restrict it before they become addicted to it.
– Teach your kid a very simple rule and if followed can avoid most of the problems on Facebook. If your kid wouldn’t want someone saying it to them, they should not say (post) it to anyone else. Also implies like if your kid would not say it to someone in person, they should not post it.
– Teach your kids to say no to a unknown persons request of becoming a friend on Facebook. As once you accept stranger among your friends any posts or communication you do on Facebook with your fiends is also going to be seen by the stranger.
– If your kid decides to meet a online friend whom he has not seen before, let them know that you too are interested to meet the friend and it is better and safe to see the online friend when you are there.
Try to make use of technology by installing and configuring parental control features that will help your child to visit only kids safe websites and also to restrict their time on the internet. Quick Heal Internet Security 2011 and Quick Heal Total Security 2011 has very good parental control features. For more information please visit https://www.quickheal.com/qh-total-security.asp
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