Facebook Privacy Settings
From protecting your identity to ensuring the safety of your children, there are several privacy settings that Facebook uses to help keep private information private. However, it should be mentioned that if you want to keep things REALLY private, simply don’t upload it to the internet, regardless of how safe a website claims to be. But, understandably so, in the modern world this is becoming increasingly difficult and good luck keeping your children off of Facebook completely without a fight. So, when you know that your child will be using Facebook for socialization, there are some key points that every parent should understand about the website.
Become a User
Many parents have found it helpful to become a Facebook user, if even in a casual sense. Once you understand the basics behind the creation of a profile, the security options available, and the general workings of the website, you’ll have some insight when considering the privacy of your children and their personal information. Take note that at the bottom of every Facebook page there is a “Privacy” tab that will re-direct you to the privacy features involved in the site’s design.
Limited Visibility is a Must
When you are considering all of the information that an online predator may use against your children, think about what is viewable even when the profile is listed as private. Sometimes, a picture and a name is all that is needed, but when a listing of “networks” is given, that could give them just enough insight to send a message and pose as a potential “friend”. The best advice in handling this threat is to turn EVERYTHING off on your child’s profile and work backwards from that point.
Stay Up to Date
Staying up to date on the changes being made to Facebook’s Privacy Settings can help you utilize them to your advantage. Depending on the privacy settings, however, may not give you the comfort you seek, and there’s nothing wrong with having your child simply omit information like their school from their profile. Their friends know who they are, and honestly, that’s enough.
Facebook offers quite a bit to teens and many can navigate the website better than anyone. However, they need to be informed of the dangers involved. Predators masquerading as teens are quite a threat online. If they are not taken seriously, they can be entrenched in a child’s life before anyone realizes what’s happened.
Have conversations with your children about online safety and explore the Facebook Privacy settings on your own. Read them and if anything is unclear, read them again. There are many tools that will hide important information, but nothing is certain. The best remedy is simply not posting this sensitive information online at all, and keeping the profile for contact with people that you and your children already know. As a parent, creating a profile offers a wealth of benefits, so don’t shy away from the site. Learn its capabilities, understand its dangers, and then relay this information to your children.