Worried about your kids in Facebook?

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We did a little survey recently. 75% of parents said that their kids have a Facebook account, and 57% of parents are concerned that their kids may not have the appropriate privacy settings in Facebook.

Parents also estimated that their kids have only met approximately 57% of their Facebook friends in real life. What’s more, 56% of parents are concerned that their children are spending too much time online, and that their real social life may suffer.

Facebook has a 13-year age limit, so assuming your kids with Facebook are at least 13, read on:

5 Facebook Tips Every Parent Should Know

  1. Make sure at least one parent is friends with your kids on Facebook so you can pop in and see what they’re up to. If possible, the other parent should not be friends with the child but should check the child’s page regularly to see what strangers or “Friends of Friends” see.
  2. Your kids should avoid posting information about their schedule, especially vacations or details about when their parents will be home or not.
  3. Your kids need to know that no matter how private their settings tell them they are, anything they post on a social network should be considered public. Make sure your kids know that they should never share private information—email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses—on any social network.
  4. Your child’s profile photo and cover photos are always public and can be viewed – and downloaded – by anyone on Facebook. Any content you post on your social networks can be downloaded or copied so keep in mind that your profile and cover images can be seen and captured by anyone.
  5. Did you know that search engines like Google and Yahoo! can display your child’s profile page in their search results? You can disable this from the privacy settings. https://www.facebook.com/settings?tab=privacy&section=search&view

In addition, F-Secure can help with some products that will help you get a handle on your kids’ online life:

Safe Profile helps make sure your kids’ Facebook profile is really as private as it should be. Safe Profile finds out how much of a Facebook profile is potentially visible to strangers, gives a nifty safety score, and helps better protect personal information. It’s free and easy to get started here.

F-Secure Internet Security lets you set limits on your kids’ browsing time. You can define when, for each day of the week, your child can be online. Then set how many total hours on weekdays and weekends are allowed. You can try it for free here.

Facebook should be fun, not dangerous or destructive. With a little effort, you can make sure it stays that way!

Image courtesy of “marin” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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