Nowadays, kids are glued to instant messengers. Facebook is not an exception. While it can be an excellent tool for improving social skills, at the same time it also leaves them vulnerable to many online threats.
A new priority for parents is to educate kids about online privacy and safety, even if it may seem challenging as modern kids seem to know more about the Internet than their parents.
Why Kids Like Facebook
Here are several reasons why teens and tweens enjoy using Facebook:
- It is a simple and fast way to communicate with friends;
- It is easy to find people and make new friends;
- It helps to improve social skills and express the identity;
Does Facebook Have Age Limits?
According to Facebook, a user should be at least 13 years old or older to create an account. Unfortunately, there are no safeguards to check it. Consequently, many kids simply surpass these restrictions making up a birthday when registering for a Facebook private profile. It is supposed that:
- Around 7.5 million users are younger than 13 y.o;
- Approximately 5 million users are younger than 10 y.o;
So, if your kid is younger than 13 but already has a Facebook private profile, you should be aware of the dangers and weight them up.
Facebook Dangers Every Parent Should Know
In 2015, 47 % of parents were friends with their kids on Facebook. From one side it may seem that Facebook is a safe place as there are a lot of parents there, but it is far from the case. The main dangers you should be aware as a parent include:
- cyberbullying and victimization by classmates;
- harassment and peer pressure;
- early exposure to inappropriate or violent content;
- interaction with online predators;
- lack of privacy and the possibility of identity theft;
- social media addiction;
- social isolation, etc;
Talk about Facebook Privacy Settings
The critical point is to have a conversation about online privacy on Facebook and on the Net in general. You may ask when it is the right time to discuss Facebook privacy settings? The answer is – as soon as your kid starts surfing the Net. As a parent, your task is to teach kids not to share any sensitive information about themselves or their family to the third parties without asking permission. The other important thing every parent should do is to ensure their kid`s Facebook is private.
Is Your Kid`s Facebook Private?
Facebook is a fantastic tool for staying in touch with friends and family. But, there are always two sides to a coin. For instance, digital freedom can come at the cost of your kid`s privacy, or they may fall victim to a child abuser.
Luckily, there are ways to ensure that only approved people can view your kid`s Facebook private profile and contact them. The process of making Facebook profile private is simple and doesn`t require a lot of time. All you need is to familiarise yourself with Facebook user-interface and set all required restriction. So where to start? Read on.
How to Make Kid`s Facebook Private
Firstly, open “Settings.” You can do it by clicking a little cog button, located in the top right corner of the screen and choose “Settings” from the drop-down menu. Secondly, select the “Privacy” option to start tailoring your kid`s privacy. Under the option “Privacy Settings and Tools” you will find two categories that should be adjusted:
- “Your activity”
- “How people find and contact you”
1. Who Can See Your Activity
Here you can choose who can see your future posts, review all your posts you`re tagged in and limit the audience for the posts you`ve shared.
Firstly, go to “Who can see your future posts?” and from the drop-down list choose “Friends” if you want to protect your Facebook private account from the prying eyes. Additionally, you can choose “Only me” if you don`t want to share your posts with others or “Friends except” to select a specific person you no longer want to share your posts with.
Secondly, review all your posts and things you are tagged in to check if there is any post you want to delete from your Timeline. Thirdly, you can also limit the audience for old posts on your Timeline simply by pressing “Limit Past Posts” option.
2. How People Find and Contact You
In case you want to stop receiving annoying inbox messages from people who are not in your friend`s list, you can use Facebook private message-filtering option. Switching from basic to the strict filtering should help to keep random messages from online strangers and spammers. Additionally, you can decide:
- who can send you friend requests;
- who can see your friends list;
- who can see your phone number and email;
- who can look up your Facebook private profile on the Net;
Prevention is a cure
If you need a tool to monitor and moderate your kid`s screen time, Kidgy low-cost cyber nanny will come in handy. Regardless that Kidgy doesn`t provide Facebook monitoring yet, they have some useful features to limit kid`s screen time and Internet usage:
- Internet Filtering: Parents can check the search history and block unwanted and age-inappropriate websites;
- App list: Parents can check the whole list of installed apps on their kid`s device and block unwanted ones;
- Internet restriction: Parents can block the Internet for school and sleep hours to prevent distractions and sleep deprivation.
But still, keep in mind that you need to ensure that Facebook privacy settings are enabled, and nobody but friends can contact them.
If you yearn for complete privacy, there is always an option to deactivate your account. This is a drastic course of action and requires weighty reasons. For instance, cyberbullying, threats, etc. Or maybe you are tired of sharing your life publicly.
Whatever your reasoning, here are steps to delete your account:
- Go to Settings and choose Security;
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page;
- Click on the “Deactivate your account”;
- Confirm your actions;
In this article, we`ve shown how to create Facebook privacy settings and protect your kids from cyberbullying, online predators and other dangers. If you crave for ultimate privacy, the deactivation of a Facebook account will come in handy, but if you need a tool to supervise your kids and limit their screen time – Kidgy is the best tool for you.