Finally, we have some figures to back up our observation all along!
Recent study showed that there are 7.5M Facebook users in the US that are under 13 (Facebook set the age of 13 as the minimum age requirement).
Last school year, as we conclude season 1 of watcha webtrap! roadshow, [we conducted a total of 20 cyber wellness seminars to parents, teachers and youth] we also observed that most adults [parents, teachers and school admin] are not aware of the risks kids face online. These include internet/game addiction, identity theft, cyber bullying and malicious application and virus. These risks can hurt the kid and the entire family
According to the report:
Parents of kids 10 and younger who use Facebook “seem to be largely unconcerned” by their children’s use of the site, possibly because they think a young child is less vulnerable to Internet risks, the study said.
But while a 10-year-old might not download pornography on the Internet, he or she does “need protection from other hazards that might lurk on the Internet, such as links that infect their computer with malware and invitations from strangers, not to mention bullies,” the study said.
More than five million US households have been exposed in the past year to “some type of abuse” via Facebook, including virus infections, identity theft and bullying, said the study, for which 2,089 US households were interviewed earlier this year.
A separate study published last month by Richard Power of Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab cybersecurity research center, found that 10 percent of children in the United States have had their social security numbers stolen and used to apply for driver’s licenses and loans to buy cars or even houses.
The rate of identity theft among children was 51 times higher than for adults, Power said in his study.
With the findings above, allow me to add my 2 cents.
For a kid below 13 to have a Facebook account, that means the parents created the account and lied on the age of his/her kid. Or, the kids created their own Facebook account but the parents did nothing to correct it.
Well in both cases, as an adult, we just set a super bad example and have set a dangerous precedent for their future: Kid will grow up thinking, it’s ok to do wrong because mom and dad will make it right.
Furthermore, this may mean that the next generation can be prone to anarchy. These kids will grow w/o respect to process, rules of law, and authority.
What do you think?