Just like when our kids first attempt to walk, our hands help them make the first steps, so our hand should also be available the moment they find interest on facebook and social media in general.
Just like during our kids 1st day on school, our presence gives them a sense of assurance, this is also necessary when they first use facebook.
Like in any place, facebook pose some riks not because it’s a bad place per se, but because there are users there that tend to take advantage of the tenderness and vulnerability of kids.
What are the risks that our kids may face in Facebook?
- Unwanted connections
- Just like in real world, they may face a bully [cyber bullying]
- Games that are not designed for kids or in contrast to the values that you want to inculcate on them. Ex. nightlife city, mafia wars
- Applications that require purchase
- Exposure to nude and violent images.
- Exposure to malicious application.
- Addiction to online activities and neglect of real life chores
How do we protect then our kids from these?
- If they are under 13, do not lie about their age and create an account for them or allow them to have one. As an option, you may opt to look for facebook alternative, or let your kid use your account [just make sure your connections knew this and this is allowed only in your presence].
- If your kid is eligible to have an account, be involve in setting up his/her Facebook account and make sure the privacy settings are configured to the optimum. The less personal info shared, and less info and photos that are publicly accessible, the better. Watch this instructional video for reference.
- Ask your kid to share the password with you.
- Connect your kids to relatives you are confident with, then give them the freedom to invite the friends of their choice [this is better so you would know his real life buddies and cross check them]
- Block unnecessary applications
- Use the parental control of your computer to set the time where your kid can access the internet
- Place your computer in a common area.
- Teach you kids the following:
- do not give real time locations [they can always call or text you] instead of using status updates
- do not place a link to the account of family members, much more post current pictures of siblings and parents
- do not add people or accept connection request if they do not know the person personally
- the anatomy of scammers- what they want and how they intend to get it
- online GMRC [good manners and right conduct]
- do not initiate or talk to strangers
- if unsure, confer to you as parents
These are simple and basic tips, please share some more if you are doing something that is not mentioned here.
Have a great day!