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Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Parents Should Read This: Data About What Teens Do Online

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Pew Research just released a report called “Teens, Social Media, and Privacy.” The report provides a bunch of data about what teens do online and how they view their personal privacy while sharing. The report also delves into social sharing apps like Twitter, SnapChat and Instagram.

Why should you care? As a parent it’s really important to get a broader view of how how other teens conduct themselves online. It also helps to understand the context in which teens uses these technologies. While many adults and even many press accounts describe SnapChat as a saucy photo sharing app teens use it in ways that may surprise you. One teen girl described her use of SnapChat in Pew’s focus groups in this way: “Well, because Facebook, everyone sees what I’m doing. But Snapchat is just to one person, unless they’re a jerk and they screenshot it and post it on Facebook. But mostly it’s just the person that you’re sending it to, so it’s like a conversation.”

Also, the teens comment about their parents joining Facebook: “It sucks… Because then they [my parents] start asking me questions like why are you doing this, why are you doing that. It’s like, it’s my Facebook. If I don’t get privacy at home, at least, I think, I should get privacy on a social network.”

So, take a deep breath, relax and read Pew’s data. It’s a brave new world, but you may find that it’s not a scary as you thought.

Are Teens Broadcasting Their Mobile Location on Facebook?

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Are Teens Broadcasting Their Mobile Location on Facebook? Well, yes. Should parents be overly concerned? Not that much more concerned than having their teens use Facebook at all. Let’s back up. Over a month ago Facebook launched “Places,” a service where people can use their GPS mobile phones to “check in” to locations such as restaurants, concert halls, and schools. Once checked in, Facebook notifies other Facebook users that John Doe just checked in to “Potbelly Sandwich.”

Obviously, those of us in the online safety community are deeply, deeply concerned about nefarious use of a child’s physical location. Frankly, the thought is terrifying. Thus parents and social networking companies need to take the distribution of kids’ mobile location very seriously.

Now, for teen users (those under 18 yeas old) Facebook only allows their “Friends” to see the places they have checked into. Even if the teen foolishly changes their privacy settings to allow “Everyone” to see their information, Facebook automatically prohibits anyone but the teen’s friend from seeing their mobile location in the physical world. This is a positive privacy and safety measure by Facebook. However, this auto feature does not exist for those over the age of 17 who set their profile to “Everyone”

Of course, the teen’s safety and privacy really hinges on whether they trust those in her “Friends” list. As a general rule, parents should talk to teens about limiting their Facebook “Friends” list to only those they know and trust. If they don’t, none of their information is safe — especially their physical location.

More about Places can be found on ConnectSafely.org and on Facebook itself.

Remember we told you to set Facebook privacy settings?

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Last year we urged parents to help their kids set their privacy settings in whatever social networking service they used (See the How-To Video Tutorials here). We urged kids to turn the privacy settings to “Friends Only.” Well, things change really quickly on the Internet and Facebook has changed how users can access their privacy settings and even the settings themselves. So, still take our advice about changing your kids’ settings to “friends only” but note that the path to making privacy changes has changed. To get to your Facebook privacy settings simply select in the top right hand corner next to your profile name “Settings” and pull down the menu and select “Privacy Settings.” In our dated How To Video Tutorial “Privacy” was right up at the top, now you just need to take that extra step and select “Settings.” See photo here.

But it really is worth noting that Facebook has expanded the category of what is known as “Personally Available Information.” This is information that users cannot restrict from others. It used to be that in order to find each other on a “social network” you could see each other’s name, networks and fan listings. Now Facebook has expanded that list to include things like a user’s city, gender, photograph, the profile pages you are a fan of, and friends list. So, be aware that you really can’t control whether others see that information about you or your children.

What to do? We recommend taking a different look at what info your teen is sharing by taking a step back. First, log out of Facebook and search for your teen’s name on Facebook through Facebook search and other Web search engines. Take a look and see what you find.  Then log in to Facebook as a non-friend of your teen and search for her name and see what information about her you can find. Make notes on what you can see and what you can’t. Third, and most important, talk with your teen about what you have found. Actually, we recommend performing the above search process together.

If changes are needed go into the “Privacy Settings” and make changes. If you and your teen don’t like how much information about her and her friends must be shared as “Personally Available Information,” write to Facebook.

Technology Can Aid Parents of “Queen Bees”

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Chapter 1 of Rosalind Wiseman‘s update of the best selling book Queen Bees & Wannabes explores the role of technology in the lives of parent and child relationships. It’s worth a read for that chapter alone! Ms. Wiseman offers actionable tips for parents on how they can use technology to keep up with tech savvy teens. In the section “Using Technology for Reconnaissance” Ms. Wiseman advises parents of teens to have them take a camera phone picture of where they are when they are checking in. For a “very sneaky kid, make her take a picture that includes something to indicate the date and time,” according to Ms. Wiseman.

Parents can further take advantage of the technology to fill in the “information vacuums between parents” by befriending other parents using social networking sites like Facebook. According to Ms. Wiseman teens will sometimes exploit the lack of parent-to-parent communication to mask where she is or with whom. It’s an age-old trick — “Jenny’s mom is taking us to pizza and a movie.” Facebook friending and having Jenny’s mom’s cell phone number can seriously reduce that information fog.

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