Parenthood 2010: Facebook Safety

May 3, 2010  |  Facebook

You’ve done it before.  Sure you have.  You’re talking to your kids and you launch into a story about “the good old days”… the days before banking machines and cell phones and satellite TV when life was simpler and people knew their neighbours.  Years from now, you’ll be telling your grandchildren about the days before Facebook... the days when people actually picked up the phone to find out what their friends were up to instead of reading a post online.  With 400 million users, Facebook is one influential social networking site.  It also has the potential to be dangerous.  And millions of parents still don’t fully understand those dangers.   (More…)

Montreal Mom Lisa McKenzie knows all about it.  She’s the author of the new book “Facebook Guide for Parents”.  According to her, one of the biggest pitfalls involves privacy settings.  If you don’t know any better when setting up your profile, the majority of these settings default to allowing everyone to see your information versus “just friends”.  Even entering your birthday, complete with year, could leave you wide open to identity theft if the wrong person has access to it.

Want to protect your child from cyber bullying?  McKenzie recommends you set up a Google Alert for your child’s name.  Any time his or her name appears on the internet, you’ll receive an e-mail notification and will be able to check it out.  Concerned about predators?  It’s possible to lock down your child’s profile so that he or she cannot be added to anyone else’s “friend” list… automatic discouragement to online predators.

The bottom line?  As a parent, you need to be vigilant, aware, and above all, willing to learn what you need to know in order to protect your child.  Whether that means reading books, articles or taking seminars… It’s now part of your job description as a mom or dad in the year 2010.

They say that parenting is the toughest job you’ll ever love.  Embracing social media is something we all need to learn to love, too. ;-)

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