- Internet & the Web
How to Keep Your Child Off Social Networking Sites
The Facebook Culture
Social networking sites have been deeply embedded into our culture. For some people the first thing they do when they wake up is log into Facebook to see what they have missed. Young children are very vulnerable on networking sites such as Facebook and therefore parents should take an active role to try to monitor, or if needs be keep their children off networking sites.
Face The Reality
No matter how hard you try to keep a child away from networking sites, they will eventually get online one way or another. Therefore I suggest that you don't try and ban them or block them but disincentives and educate them. The networking sites that exist are invaluable tools after all, by banning them you are not actually doing them any favours. They need to become socially active in order to develop into functioning citizens later in life.
Make Them Aware Of The Danger's
Children are vulnerable but by educated them they can help themselves by staying out of trouble. Fake facebook accounts are created by the bucket load, and young people are often targeted. Make sure your children are aware of the reasons behind these fake accounts and understand how these people work. As a general rule try to make sure that you don't let your child add anyone who they don't know.
It can be quite hard to spot these fake accounts but by carefully looking at the details you can see that they are not who they say they are. One of the quickest ways to do this is to look at there photos.
The video below explains a neat way to check if they say who they are:
Facebook Photo Check
Facebook privacy settings can be changed very easily. Make sure that your child has high privacy settings to prevent other people from targeting them.
The video below goes through the main ones below.
Keep A Good Relationship
A good relationship is key to online safety. If your child trusts you then they will be able to ask and share information with you. Give them independence but try to be in the know. Sometimes asking simple questions like who were you just talking to can help.
Give Them Something Else To Think About Away From the Digital World
Encourage other activities that they can invest time into. There online social ability should match their real life social ability. Encourage your children to get out of the house and get involved in other activities. This includes joining local sport clubs or simply organising a day out for them. If you can find your child's interest they will spend less and less time online on networking sites.