Facebook is the most popular social networking site among many age groups, including children and teenagers. Kids use the site to keep in touch with friends and classmates, play online games, join groups that reflect their interests and share status updates with friends. Usage of the site does carry a few potential internet safety risks, so monitoring Facebook use is essential in keeping your child safe from online predators, cyberbullying or other forms of inappropriate online behavior that could be hurtful to them or someone else. According to an article by New York State Attorney General, Eric T. Schneiderman, you can keep track of your child’s Facebook activity by joining the site with them, receiving activity reports and learning how to set up privacy controls.
How to protect your child:
- Set up your own Facebook account and require your child to add you as a friend. Also require him or her to use your email address when signing up for the social site. This step can allow you to receive email alerts about Facebook activity from your child’s account.
- Do not allow your child to accept friend requests from people he or she does not know in person. Even if a request appears to come from another person your child has never met, it could be anyone behind the profile, as plenty of people hide behind false identities online.
- Establish ground rules for posting personal information. Children of any age should never post anything online that could help a predator locate them offline. This information includes their full name, home address, details of their school, phone numbers, after-school job locations or details about when parents will be away from home.
- Learn how to set up Facebook privacy controls. You can set your child’s updates and posts as visible only to their friends, and disable the photo tagging feature. These options help to prevent anyone else from viewing detailed information about your child. Another recommended privacy setting includes requiring a friend request before anyone is able to send your child a Facebook message.
- Install computer monitoring software that captures screenshots of your child’s Facebook activity. This program will help you monitoring Facebook usage by capturing status updates, chat logs, wall posts and messages generating from your child’s account. Reviewing these will allow you to examine the information quickly for any inappropriate subject matter or behavior.
How to monitor Facebook – the easy way:
Monitoring Facebook use for your child may well raise some objections, but keeping him or her safe online is a higher priority. Setting rules for social networking, using privacy controls and adding a computer monitoring program will reduce the chance of your child encountering risks, such as contact with an online predator. Trying GigaWatch free for one week will give you a good idea of this software’s user-friendliness. GigaWatch – the easy to use Facebook monitoring software.