Keeping children safe on social network sites

Social media can be very tricky for a parent to navigate, but parents need to be careful in more ways than you would imagine. In most cases parents only worry about the privacy and safety of their children online, but it turns out they should worry about their own social networks as well.

As part of a BBC investigation of parents and teenagers with online presences a picture of a mother with her lover in his underwear was accidentally made public. For a parent that has young children online, this is not the type of image that they should be seeing, but far too often parents are too concerned about their children’s’ profiles to think about the harm their own profiles could be doing.

Parents also are more prone to share information about their children. It is only natural that parents are proud of their children and want to brag about them. However, when a parent has an open profile that can be viewed by anyone then they are making their child vulnerable by posting photos and talking about them on a regular basis. Therefore, security as a parent is just as important.

In addition, parents need to be careful about the information they post about their children and the information they allow their children to post because of fraudsters. It is becoming increasingly more common for fraudsters to steal the identities of children, because it takes longer for them to get caught.

If you are a proud parent that posts the full name of your child and their birth date, then you might be setting them up to get their identity stolen. Even worse, if you are a mother and your Facebook has your maiden name on it so that friends can find you then you are also offering the fraudster a standard bank security question.

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