Parenting Vivian | 01 Nov 2010 08:26 am

Facebook Dangers – Key Tips For Parents to Keep Children Safe From Online Predators

The huge uptake in Social Networking sites like Facebook and MySpace has not been missed by children. Even although Facebook has a limit on the age of people joining (13 years and older) many children younger than this join anyway. But then what could be worrying about this? Surely it’s just a fun place where people can share stories, photos, virtual gifts etc? Yeah, that’s true – if you assume that everyone on Facebook is innocent and has good motives. Unfortunately the sad reality is that many sexual predators are attracted to environments like this.

All good children know NOT TO TALK TO STRANGERS, they also know NOT TO TAKE GIFTS FROM STRANGERS, yet all of this is forgotten when it comes to the online world. All of a sudden it seems that these rules don’t apply anymore. After all, “she” is not a stranger. “I have known Suzie for 6 months…she’s my Facebook friend. She’s a friend who a met through Katie who is in my class.”

And that is exactly how it happens. It only takes one person to unwittingly allow a stranger to be their friend, and the friend enters the network. And of course it seems OK for your daughter to add her friends “friend” – and after all “Suzie” is also 12 years old, and she lives in Canada – miles from your daughter.

Once “Suzie” (a false name, age, gender and location) is in the circle, he has access to all sorts of information. He can see your daughter’s profile – this includes her full name, age, and the big problem – her school. There is more than enough information and photos to find her. All of it exchanged between “friends”.

You warn your children about the dangers of speaking to strangers. Sadly the most dangerous predators are lurking around on the online world. Please don’t let your son or daughter be their next victim. Educate yourself and educate your children before it is too late. We can help our children by educating ourselves; Monitor our child’s online activities through installing Parental Control Software to ensure their safety and protection in the potentially dangerous online world.

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