With ‘Facebook Places’ now available in the UK, the ever-increasing list of online threats related to social networking continues to grow. More than ever, advising children about social network security is a very necessary part of using the internet.
A good source of information is the CEOP site
Social networking security
If you have young children, chances are they use websites like Penguin Club or Moshi Monsters. These are the precursor to social networking sites like Bebo, MySpace or Facebook.
Children can join Bebo, MySpace or Facebook from the age of 13. But by joining social networking sites, children – some unknowingly – expose themselves to a wide variety of dangers.
This is why it’s important to effectively teach your children about online security, particularly when it comes to social networking sites. As a parent, you can:
- Do online activities with your child to teach him or her online behaviour
- Keep the computer your child uses in an open area for easy monitoring
- Set rules about what your child is allowed to do online
- Warn your child about the dangers the internet poses
- Set up a different account with parental controls enabled for your child
While most people who use social networking sites are genuine and do not pose a threat, online predators may be drawn to them because of the accessibility and amount of personal information that's available. This is particularly worrying when it comes to vulnerable groups such as children.
Online predators may disguise themselves as children, form online relationships with children and then convince unsuspecting children to meet them in person, which could lead to a highly dangerous situation.
Personal information can also be used to conduct a social engineering attack. Using information a child provides about his or her address, family and friends can put the entire family at risk.
Social networking security software
One of the best ways to keep your children safe online is to download an internet security software package complete with digital identity protection and parental controls. Once you have installed internet security, be sure to set up and use the tools provided to give the highest amount of online child protection.