If a stranger wanted to enter your child’s bedroom, would you allow it? Your answer would definitely be no. However, that is not the case with the social networking site Facebook. Here, you have no control on who enters your child’s ‘bedroom’. In fact, once they are inside, you have no idea of what can take place. Being aware of your child’s Facebook habits and who they associate with is essential for combating Facebook predators.
With two clicks of a mouse and a charming ‘hello’, a predator can enter your home and be friendly with your child over Facebook. There are many cases where a predator has befriended someone on Facebook, and then tried to meet them outside the Internet. These types of encounters don’t always end in a tragedy, however, the ones that do, could have been prevented. It is important to ask your child who they are chatting with and who they have as “friends”. By knowing this type of information you get involved in their online lives- after all, you are their first and last line of defense.
In more recent years, many embarrassing photos and videos have leaked on the Internet. The part that is really understated here is that online images tend to live forever. If your child is either accidentally or purposely involved in such media, the final result can be devastating to their social life. By being involved in your child’s Facebook habits, you can find out what it is that they are transmitting over the Internet. By preventing a dumb decision today, you are clearing an embarrassment free path towards their future.
It is important to know that there are steps you can take in protecting your child from Facebook predators. The first is to educate your child on the dangers of posting photos. It would be wise for you to encourage your child to post photos of something that resembles them, but not pictures of themselves. Additionally, you should control their Facebook pages by having access to the page. Lastly, you should be aware that social networking sites are time consuming and they may take your child away from important school work or family functions.
Being involved in your child’s Facebooking habits takes minutes, and by doing so you can help your child steer clear from predators or from being bullied online. Perhaps you too should open up a Facebook page and befriend your child- this way you can see how easy it is for a predator to do the same.