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Facebook safety

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Love it or hate it, we are now right in the middle of a new social media generation. Even if you don’t want your teenagers to take part, it’s likely that all their friends now use things like Facebook for example communicate. But while you might not be able to stop them from following the crowd, there are things you can do to ensure Facebook safety for your children.

It is important to monitor what they are doing and to make sure they are aware of the possible dangers – unfortunately not everyone on the internet is who they say they are.

Keeping the kid’s safe

Although your children may not want your interference, insist on having the family computer in a main room in the house so you can keep an eye on what they are doing. You needn’t stand over them watching their every move, but you can at least be aware of the sites they are visiting.

However, the rapid advances in modern technology now mean that most young people can access the internet from the palm of their hand with smart phones and tablets, which can be more difficult to monitor. For that reason, it is also important to keep in touch with your child, especially in terms of who their friends are and who they are interacting with. You want to avoid the situation in which they are striking up friendships with unknown people on the internet. Let them know not to friend anyone they don’t know in real life. Strangers could easily be faking profiles and photographs so there is no way to prove they are who they say they are.

Secure your child’s account

If your child has a social media account, make sure you secure it. This is something all family members should do as a course of habit. You need to lock down profiles and check settings so that all your information remains personal to those in your friends lists and is not being shared on a more public platform by default.

Although likely to be a sensitive subject, you could go a step further by requesting to know your teenager’s username and password.facebook If they want an account you could suggest setting it up and creating the profile together to make sure they are as safe as they can be online. Tell them you will only occasionally check that everything is in order. Unfortunately in this day and age children are also open to the world of virtual and cyber bullying and you’ll want to know if anything like this is taking place.

Alternatively, you could request them as a friend. Again your child may object – and you needn’t post on their page by telling them dinner is ready for example – but this will also enable you to keep an eye on any strangers cropping up.

But as with all dangers young people face in the modern world, the best way to avoid them is to be open and honest with your children to create an environment of trust. Tell them why you are taking these measures and what the dangers are. You just want them to be safe and to be able to come straight to you if they have any concerns.

 

 

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