Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Keeping Kids Safe On Facebook

Social Networks Cover A Great Distance


Everyone has a different view on this one. Even those that do not have kids, have strong views as to whether or not to allow a kids to have a fb (face book) page. If we do allow it, how do we keep our kids safe on the Internet/Face book?

I pondered over this one for a very long time. I do not like spreading my business around. Therefore, fb wasn't something I was interested in personally. Sure, I liked getting on fb to check on the status of my friends and to view their pictures! I just love looking at pictures! But I didn't see no real value in having my own fb page. I avoided it for a long time. I was concerned about Internet safety for myself and my kids.

Finally, I created a page for keeps. Although I love the social aspects of my page, I mainly have it for networking purposes. It allows me to keep my friends up to date with what I'm doing in my business, and I'm able to connect with other entrepreneurs for the much needed support.

It's fun and interesting to see what everyone is up to! I'm learning so much about friends that I didn't know before. As people, we're always interested in what other people (especially friends) are doing. We all want to feel connected to someone or something (that we have something in common with). Our kids feel the same.

When Is It Okay!
Each parent must decide on his or her own whether or not they'll let their kids have a fb page. I never wanted my kids to have one. But they kept seeing me get on it. They thought it was so much fun to see their friends and look at their pictures! I guess it's a way for them to have a small circle of friends, and a little bit of privacy at the same time. Which is all a part of growing up.

So, after giving it some thought, I decided to allow the two of them to have their very own fb pages. They love it! (My husband didn't object. He's not into computers at all)! We created the pages together. I set their privacy settings. I laid down the rules. I told them just like I allowed the pages, I can also take them away (if they abuse the privilege). Here are some suggestions that I've found to work for us:

  1. I set the privacy settings. I check them periodically.
  2. They can only friend request people that we know. If another trustworthy friend knows them, that's fine. Just as long as I can verify it. No exceptions in this area! I have it set to friends only. Some settings are not even set to friends.
  3. I'm allowed to monitor their pages and delete friends that I find offensive in some way. Of course I give the two of them time to do it themselves. If they don't take care of the matter, I do it.
  4. Personal information is not allowed (addresses, phone numbers).
  5. I tell them to be very careful with the chat box. I don't like them using it very much. Unless it's someone that we all know. I limit my use of it too. Because I use my fb page mainly for business purposes, I don't personally know everyone on my friend's list. Therefore, I keep my chat box off most times.
  6. If they put something up on their pages that may be offensive. Perhaps it's a video that they didn't really pay attention to and something in it slipped by them. I'll tell them to take it down. Sometimes I even take it down for them. We all make mistakes.
  7. I lead by example. They see what I do on fb. They tend to copy me. They know that I'm not on there to abuse it. I mainly use it to catch up with friends and keep them posted with what I'm doing. Which as I mentioned before, is mainly network marketing. I know I love seeing what my friends do for a living! If I need something, I know who to ask.
  8. They are not allowed to friend request someone with questionable behaviour or indecent pictures. Yes, I look at their friend's pictures from time to time. I make allowances for family only. You got to friend request family. At least I think so.
  9. It also helps to have a good anti-virus program installed on your computer.

Know Your Kids
The main idea here is for you to be involved with what your kids are doing. Allow them to develop their own personalities. Some kids don't like fb. Mine just happen to like it! I can't hold them too tight. I have to be reasonable. If I have friends on fb, why can't they?

I didn't just allow them a page. I did take into account their ages and maturity level. (Face book recommends no child under the age of 13). I wasn't aware of this until after I allowed my 11 year old a page. I assumed it was okay since I saw lots of other kids on fb. Instead of just taking the page away from her, I decided to let her keep it. I monitor her very closely. She's only allowed to friend people I know and trust. I must admit, I have been guilty of signing up for some networks without reading the terms (now I read the terms first).

Before I allowed my kids a page, I wanted to be sure that they understood the seriousness of privacy (their privacy) and the dangers if not treated properly. I made sure that they understood what it meant not to disclose personal information. It's very important to know your kids. Will he/she be responsible and abide by your fb rules? I didn't allow them a page until I felt they could abide by the rules.

Be Involved
I don't act like a Sargent or anything. I just monitor them and their pages closely. I keep my ears and eyes open. That's why it's important to keep the computer in an open area (family room). This way you can monitor them. What works for one family may not work for another. The key here is to do what's best for your family. You know your family better than anyone else. If you do allow your kids a page, be involved.


Thanks for reading! If you liked my article, please say so. If you'd like to share your 2 cents, please do so!

6 comments:

  1. appreciate your post--as I have a teen son and preteen, but they do not use social sites, yet have seen friends that the kids were using them before they were of age to do so and it frightened me when I hear of predators trying to reach them (they were mostly females, but still applies to both). Love your articles! God Bless!

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  2. Hi Kendra! Thanks for leaving your comment. Predators are nothing to play with. That's why we must protect our kids Online. Glad you love my articles! See you again soon!

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  3. Good for YOU!!! I applaud you for allowing them the freedoms, but taking the time to check back on them. And when the get older (& a tad more sneakier), get a key stroke logger :)... It is tough trying to keep them safe when they think they are turning 30 tomorrow :).

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  4. hello dear;
    thanks for joining me in last week. you are mention on my friend finding friday post here
    Things I leaned from Growing up.

    3yesha

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  5. Hi Misty! Thanks for the tip. I'll keep it in mind..lol

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  6. Hi AW! Thanks for your comment. I'll check it out. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete

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