Facebook: What Parents Need to Know
Facebook. Whether you use it or not, it’s the largest social media platform out in cyberland. It’s easily addictive but has some major selling points beyond just updating your status. Businesses can use it to place demographically targeted ads, job postings, and updates. The personal user can reach out to friends and family members, staying close when the miles distance them. But when the age to have an account is 13, what do parents need to know about this social platform behemoth?
Cyberbullying. It’s reported that numerous children at one point or another have been subject to cyberbullying. There’s a number of different ways to receive communications; private message, public comments, groups set up to target an individual. Make sure you tell your child that if they are receiving messages of an indecent nature, to let you know asap so you can report them to Facebook.
Strangers/Fake Profiles. Even though the majority of people on Facebook are who they say they are, just like in real life, watch out for the stranger. Some malicious people have created fake profiles and can easily take advantage of your child. Make sure to only accept friend requests from those you know.
Private Messaging. Facebook Messenger is a private chatroom of sorts where you can speak privately to another person away from your home Facebook page. Know who your child has been speaking to through Messenger and make sure you tell them to only talk to people they know in real life.
With all the fear out there of phony profiles and the ability to cyberbully, how do you keep you and your child safe? Here are a few examples from Alex Wright:
Make Profiles Private, Lead by Example, Share Devices, Report Violations, Respect Boundaries, Check-in With Your Child.
Facebook should be a fun and exciting experience. But just like anything else, you must watch for those causing problems or harm. Your child needs to be comfortable letting you know if they’ve experienced anything violent, inappropriate, or disrespectful so that you can take the reigns and report any violation directly to Facebook. Make certain to review your child’s profile page, check their feed, and help them realize that although Facebook is a fun community, there are always things to watch out for.