Home    Subscribe    Contact    Login

Your Child Wants Facebook: What to do Now

by 3103 Communications (follow)
3103 Communications offer social media safety seminars for parents - www.3103communications.com
Parenting (147)      Tips (45)      Cyber Safety (10)      Internet (10)      Facebook (1)     


Family on Facebook


Yes, the day you have been dreading has finally arrived. Your child has asked you if they can set up a Facebook account. There are a number of reasons why you may or may not want your child to have an account, but let’s save that discussion for another blog post! For now, let us assume you have given into their pleas and agreed to let them set up their own account. But now what? What initial steps should you take to help minimise the risks your child may encounter on the site? Here are a few of my recommendations:

Follow the age limits
Before you go a step further, make sure that your child meets the age requirements. Facebook requires all users to be over the age of 13, and this stems from the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (USA). It is important that you do not allow your child to fake their age to get an account early – they need to wait until they are of legal age.

Establish strong privacy settings
Once the account has been created, take the take to explore the various privacy settings that Facebook provides. Your child needs to understand the difference between posting publicly and privately and I recommend that your child keep their profile privacy settings tight. At their age, there is no need for anyone other than their friends to view their content, but your child needs to understand how to customize their privacy settings to allow for this (again, I think there may be another blog post just waiting to happen here!)

Profile picture: keep it generic
Most people use a photo of themselves in their profile picture, to make them easily recognizable to family and friends searching for them. However, in the case of your child I would recommend that they refrain from using photos that reveal their physical appearance. This may minimise the chance of online predators (who scroll through Facebook profiles looking for vulnerable targets) attempting to make contact with your child. Encourage them to instead use a photo of their favourite cartoon character, a quote or a nice piece of scenary.

Regularly review their friend list
One condition you ought to considering making with your child is that they are only allowed to accept friend requests from people they know in the real world. It is a good idea to sit down with your child regularly and manually go through their Facebook friend list. If they can’t tell you how they know that person – delete them.

Show them how to report and block
Facebook allows users to report profiles and pages that post inappropriate or offensive content, and block users who are harassing, bullying or being inappropriate. Ensure your child understands how to report and block users and also encourage them to discuss trolls and cyberbullies with you should they encounter them.

Hammer it in: Think before you post!
It gets said so often, but everyone needs to think before they post. It may start to get tedious, but you need to ensure you child fully understands the implications of posting content to Facebook – it is permanent, sharable and highly visible. Content posted today could affect them – positively and negatively – in years to come, so it is necessary to ensure they can understand the responsibility that comes with having a Facebook account.

Join Facebook
If you are not already on Facebook, consider joining! In using Facebook you will gain valuable knowledge about how the site operates, what trends and risks may arise and how to deal with them. This puts you in a position of authority when talking to your child about Facebook safety. Further to this, you could then ‘friend’ your child’s Facebook profile. While this does not necessarily mean you will see everything they do on Facebook (they could put you on a restricted viewing list or create a fake profile, for instance), it could at least give you some indication of whether they are using the site appropriately.

Do you have any other tips that were useful when you child began using Facebook? Leave a comment to share your experiences!

Image purchased from iStock

#Cyber Safety
#Facebook
#Internet
#Tips
#Parenting
I like this Article - 6
[ print friendly ]
Share: email  facebook  twitter
More Articles by 3103 Communications
The ability to shop online has revolutionised how parents purchase
167 views
“Anonymity breeds meanness – the internet has proven this time and time again” (Altman, 2014)
488 views
view all articles by 3103 Communications
ID: 14615
[ Submit a Comment ]
Trending Articles
One way of cutting the cost of having a baby is to get some of your baby items second hand
6586 views
When the clocks change, or in summer months, it can be difficult if your baby wakes extra early ...
2795 views
If you're looking for cheap baby goods for your baby, here are some excellent stores you can go to t...
8365 views
Let’s be honest; everything you could ever need to know can be found on the internet
1305 views
As a parent, your options for your childs career used to be a trade, a university degree, or a non-s...
75 views
Are you a new parent looking to purchase a proper family car? The answer to your worries is getting ...
70 views
All of us, if we are honest, believe it is important to show others kindness
67 views
Now that this school term is well underway, many of our calls in the last few weeks have been ...
91 views
There is nothing more likely to catapult an issue of child development or behaviour techniques int...
68 views
Categories
Parenting (147)
Play (86)
Tips (45)
Eating (29)
Travel (27)
Safety (21)
Sleep (8)
Featured on Other Hubs
 
Copyright 2012,2013,2014,2015,2016 On Topic Media PTY LTD. ABN 18113479226. mobile version