Privacy on Facebook for your children
|Your children may be constantly asking if they can set up a facebook account so they can connect with their friends online. No doubt many of you have regularly heard the plea "but all my friends have a facebook account"! But how safe is Facebook and how can you keep them safe?|
Something to note is that the minimum age put in place by Facebook is 13. If your child is under 13, they will have to lie about their age. If you opt to allow your child have a Facebook account, there are a number of ways in which you can keep an eye on their Facebook activity. The need for such supervision will obviously depend on the age and maturity of the child. We have set out below a couple of the ways you can monitor Facebook and have also provided some information on how to implement privacy setting to ensure maximum privacy for your child.
Set up a Facebook account for yourself so that you can become a ‘Friend’ of theirs.
One way to monitor your child's Facebook activity is to become a 'Friend' of your child on Facebook. This allows you to see quite a lot of what they are doing. Including seeing what photos they are tagged in, what applications they are using on Facebook and their general comments. It does not, on the other hand, allow you to see what Private Messages they send or receive from any other friend. While a younger teenager might be happy to have a parent as a 'Friend' on Facebook, for older teenagers it is not 'cool' to be seen by peers to have a parent as a 'Friend' !
Set up their account using your e-mail address
Another way you can monitor your teenager's Facebook account at the initial stages is to set up their account using your email address. By choosing the appropriate settings within Facebook, Facebook will send an e-mail every time somebody sends a message, tags a photo, sends a friend request or comments on your teenager’s profile. However, your child may learn to turn off these e-mail settings so you may need to keep an eye on on the settings page from time to time.
To check/amend the settings for e-mail updates, click on the drop down symbol in the top right hand corner and a menu will drop down. Select 'Settings' as as shown above. You will be greeted with the menu shown on the left. Select notifications, and click on the email icon.
Privacy Setting and Information - Changing the privacy settings:
One of the most important ways to protect your teenager on Facebook is to ensure all the necessary Privacy Settings are in place so as to ensure that personal information cannot be openly viewed or that your child cannot be contacted by strangers. Settings include: who can ask to be their friend, see their posts and photos, and see their activity.