Children, teens and social networking

Social networking is a fun way for kids to interact, make plans and share information. Online social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, connect people all over the globe – which can open them up to an unknown world. To be sure your kids are social networking the safe way, follow these important tips:

  • Check into the online social network your child may want to join and investigate whether or not it's a well-known service.
  • Once you've decided on the right social network, read and understand their Terms of Use.
  • Carefully read the Privacy Policy and avoid the site if it shares information with third parties.
  • Be smart. Make sure your child or teen leaves out critical personal information like their date of birth, full name, social insurance number or address when they're creating their profile.
  • Protect your child's account profile with the highest and most restrictive security setting.
  • Scan your child's profile page frequently and ask yourself, "Can a sexual predator benefit from this information?"
  • Check privacy settings periodically as updates to the site may include default settings that allow access to your child's profile page.
  • Try to be aware of what your child does online. Do everything you can to keep strangers away and offer guidance to your child on how to be safe online.
  • Be sure your child knows to be respectful toward friends and not to say or post anything that would be hurtful or harmful. This includes photos.
  • Monitor your child's page for personal information posted by friends in their messages.
  • Know which sites are only for people 13 and over and be sure the ones they're visiting are safe and age-appropriate.
  • Separate accounts can lessen the chance that your child might accidentally access, modify, change settings and/or delete your files. You can also set up certain privileges (the things that can and can't be done) for each account.
  • Protect reputations: If you or your child share videos of them or others doing illegal things, online challenges, or photos that make people look bad, it could seriously harm their reputation.
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