Need To Know: Facebook And Your Child

by Barbara J. Feldman on October 8, 2007

If your children are going to be using Facebook, it is important to know what it is, and how it differs from other social utilities. It is also important to know how to keep your child safe when they are using it, and to know what your child is using it for.

What is Facebook? Facebook is a social utility that is made up of several smaller networks. It allows you to upload photos, publish notes, share news with friends, post videos, post tags, chat, and make friends. This site is made up of lots of separate networks based around things like schools, companies, and regions to allow you to associate with people around you.

How does it differ from other social utilities? Facebook requires you to join different networks to see the profiles of the members on it. Unlike MySpace you can’t just browse people’s profiles and pretend to know them, or meet them. You have to be apart of their friend list, or a part of their network to see their profile, and you have to be accepted as their friend for this. To join a network, you have to register. So, to get the profiles of your classmates or coworkers on the site, you will want to use your school or work email to register. In some cases, you can not join a specific network without such, for example, to join a college you have to have a college issued email address. So, while you can search for anyone on Facebook, you can only see profiles of your friends and people in your networks. It is safer then other social utilities, and is meant more for connecting with friends and past friends then for meeting random people.

How to keep your child safe on Facebook? Well the first thing you can do to keep your child safe on Facebook is to make sure that they do not put too much personal information on their profiles, at least not the personal information that could be dangerous. On a profile you can post videos, articles and other things you find on the Web or on Facebook. You can read the messages your friends leave on your wall, and you can see all the photos of you from around the site. So, monitor the activity to ensure it is safe. The next thing you want to do to keep your child safe on Facebook is to make sure they know how to use, and do use the privacy and security settings.

On Facebook you have control over your information and who sees it. So, ensure that your child is selective about how they allow their information to be seen and who gets to see it. It is important to note that Facebook offers privacy controls. They have specific privacy settings for photos, notes, each part of your profile and more, so your child can protect their content, and be safe when using it, if they employ these features. Some of the features Facebook is best known for is the fact that you can block individuals you don’t want knowing you exist on Facebook, and you can create a Limited Profile to hide certain parts of your profile from specific friends (or your parents, so watch for this).

More tips like this one in Facebook,Privacy,Security



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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Need To Know: Facebook And Your Child." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 8 Oct. 2007. Web. 20 Nov. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/1183/need-to-know-facebook-and-your-child/ >.