The world has moved to a lot more online use then every before. With shopping, school, socializing, and more being available online, it is no wonder so many people own personal computers, have Internet access, and enjoy the world wide web. Part of allowing your children to enjoy the world wide web, is being responsible about it. It is a virtual community, and poses many of the same threats a real community poses. It is essential as a parent that you recognize this, and apply similar safety precautions.
One of the most popular things to do online is to socialize. Sites like MySpace, Facebook, Instant Messenger, and more are abundant and have millions of members. If your child uses these sites, it is important that you know what they are doing and who they are talking to. As a parent, you should know who is on your child’s Facebook friends list for the following reasons:
1.The people on their friends list are privy to their personal information.
On Facebook you get to create a profile. On this profile you can have things like photos, videos, and written notes and blogs. You fill out a section about your interests, your likes, dislikes, favorites, etc. You also include things like work history, education, and contact information. Facebook is known as a more secure site because unlike MySpace, only those on your Facebook friends list, and in your network can see your profile, not just anyone with a membership. However, this security feature will mean very little if your child has included people they do not really know, or that look cool, but they have never met. If you know the people on your child’s Facebook friends list, then they do too, and you can feel safer about their ability to see what your child posts, their personal information etc.
2.Your child has the option of creating a limited profile.
One of the reasons you will want to know who is on your child’s friend list on Facebook is because your child has the option of creating what is called a limited profile. This is a profile that you create for people who are not as good of friends, or for people you do not know but who are on your network, etc. This limits what they see; for example, it may still include your interests, but not your full name, or not your contact info, birthday, etc. If you know who is on your child’s friends list you can advise them about who to have a limited profile for, and who is safe to allow access to your whole profile.
3.Facebook allows you to upload photos and videos to your profile.
One of the main reasons you would want to know who is on your child’s Facebook friends list is that people have the option of uploading photos and videos onto their profiles. Every person on your child’s friends list has a profile, and they can put pictures on, etc. So, due to this fact, it is hard to control what your child sees online; what their friends post can be viewed by them. So, know who their friends are, and you will have a better idea of what kind of content they are viewing, and how appropriate it is going to be.
4.Last but not least, you should know who their friends are because you are their parent, and that is part of being a responsible parent.