Thursday, January 19, 2012

10 Safety Tips for Using a Facebook Site for Kids

There will come a day when children may ask their parents if they can set up a Facebook profile.  Although many parents will be fine with this, there are others that have some concerns.  Facebook is not meant for young kids and there are age restrictions to prevent children under the age of 13 from using this site.  It is possible that there are adults out there that use Facebook with the wrong intentions.  Young children may not understand what is safe and what is not safe to post.  Many times kids give up information too freely.  Facts such as where kids live, where they are going throughout the day, who they are going to be with, and if they are going to have adult supervision will enable someone to track down these kids. 

Even though Facebook may not be the right choice for the entertainment of a child, there are sites that are specifically created for kids under the age of 13 that have the strictest security.  Parents need to do some research and understand how the website works before allowing their child to set up a public profile.

Creating Safe Online Profiles
There are a few things that kids can do to ensure safety while using a social networking site for kids without giving too much information away. 
  1. Do not use real name – Kids can make up a nickname or alias.  That way their friends will know who they are but it will keep their identity private from people trying to find or contact them.
  2. Keep personal information private – Do not reveal information about yourself or family members that would not normally be revealed or information that may be used to find out your location.
  3. Do not post a photo of yourself – Instead upload a picture of something else or use an avatar such as a cartoon character to keep your identity private.
  4. Do not give out an address or phone number – Giving out your address or phone number can give a stranger the ability to find or contact you.
  5. Do not post inappropriate photos or videos – a rule of thumb for deciding which pictures should be posted is to consider if your parents would approve of these pictures. 

Networking Safety
After creating a profile there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure all content stays age appropriate.
  1. Do not talk to strangers – if a stranger approaches you online, tell your parents.  Some friend requests are fine because they are from other children but it is best to let your parents determine who it is safe to network with.
  2. Do not trust that a message is from who it says it is – websites and accounts can be easily hacked to send messages to other people.  Contact that friend to make sure the message is from them.
  3. Type the social networking address into the browser – If you log into a fake site then you are giving your personal information to someone who could potentially steal it.
  4. Be selective about friend requests – Accept friend requests form only people you know.  Identity thieves have been known to create fake profiles in hopes that they might get information from you.
  5. Choose a social network carefully – Determine which Facebook site for kids has a privacy policy and which ones are monitored frequently.  Some sites even allow parents to create a profile to monitor what the child encounters online. 

Enjoy spending time on a social networking site just make sure it is safe and secure for all users.

Kids Social Network is a safe social networking site for kids that is constantly monitored to ensure that it is the safest kids social networking site out there.