internet safety for kids, social media safety for kids,

A Parent’s Guide to Facebook: Social Media Safety Laid Out Step by Step

Keeping Kids Safe on Facebook

I found this online from ConnectSafely.org and wanted to save this for myself.  We don’t let the kids on Facebook yet, but my oldest is only in 5th grade.  By Middle School, it seems that all the kids are on Facebook just to deal with homework assignments and to keep up with their friends so we are just a few months away from that.  

Right now we are dealing with getting a cell phone for her which should have happened this summer but the time frame has moved up by 7 months due to successfully completing Grade 5 Daily Math Problems.  My Dad Friend at work who has girls in Middle School (and worked for Virgin Mobile) convinced me to let my kids explore technology in a safe way.  Build the relationship that ensures they will come to you with any social media safety issues, and then let them try things out.  He is convinced it stunts them socially to be overly protective.

For parents who are nervous about Facebook for their children, this site has EXTENSIVE information on Facebook safety issues for parents.  Click here for the 32 page PDF.  Below is the “cheat sheet” of settings you might want to consider.  And you might want to go over the settings with your child to discuss the different options and the implications of each setting.  Your children might not realize how the settings broadcast their personal information and how it might be used against them, to this  might be a good lesson in social media privacy issues that will last beyond Facebook.  It’s not obvious either.  I have set up scores of profiles myself and then found editing them to be difficult, if not downright impossible.  Your child may be savvy enough to realize that pictures posted on Facebook that are not flattering (ie drunk or stoned) could result in losing a dream job, but other issues may be less obvious like location or location tracking.  Going through this list together might be the best half  hour you spend with your preteen all year!

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About ConnectSafely

ConnectSafely (connectsafely.org) is for parents, teens, educators, advocates – everyone engaged in and interested in the impact of the social Web. The user-driven, all-media, multi-platform, fixed and mobile social Web is a big part of young people’s lives and this is the central space – linked to from social networks across the Web – for learning about safe, civil use of Web 2.0 together. ConnectSafely advises the Internet industry, other non-profits and government on best practices and policies.

Co-directors Larry Magid and Anne Collier, both journalists and Internet safety advocates, served on the Obama administration’s Online Safety & Technology Working Group and the Berkman Center’s Internet Safety Technical Task Force. They also operate SafeKids.com and NetFamilyNews.org. ConnectSafely’s supporters include Google, TrendMicro, AT&T, Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo!, AOL, Loopt, Togetherville, Symantec, Glympse, and Tiny Planets.

About the Internet Keep Safe Coalition

The Internet Keep Safe Coalition (iKeepSafe.org) is an international coalition of more than 100 leaders worldwide with a shared vision of seeing generations of the world’s children grow up safely using technology and the Internet. Coalition members include policy leaders, industry, public health, child advocacy, law enforcement, and education experts, working together to bring all communities into full digital citizenship. iKeepSafe tracks global trends and issues surrounding Web-based products and develops positive, research-based resources to teach the safe and healthy use of connected technologies. Internationally, iKeepSafe has outreach programs in Australia, China, Dubai, Nigeria, the UK and US. IKeepSafe is a member of Egypt’s Cyberpeace Initiative with First Lady Suzanne Mubarak, the EastWest Institute’s Cybersecurity initiatives, and the International Telecommunication Union’s Child Online Protection Initiative.

Recommended Facebook Privacy Settings for Teens

Facebook’s default privacy settings are not for everyone – especially minors – which is why the service allows users to customize their settings. The following chart shows ConnectSafely’s recommendations for most teens. We realize that not all teens have the same level of maturity and that not all parents have the same rules for their kids’ online socializing, so please review this chart with your teens to help set the right privacy settings for them. For more on Facebook safety and privacy for teens, please see our booklet A Parents’ Guide to Facebook.

Please note: If you’re not already logged into Facebook and you click on a link to Facebook below the Table of Contents, you’ll be asked to provide user name and password the first time only. We understand if you’re uncomfortable with entering your password after clicking from another Web page (it’s a technique used in phishing attacks, but obviously not by us), so if you are uncomfortable, just go to Facebook.com and log in from the home page, then return to this page.


Contents:

Edit Profile Settings

Contact Information in Profile

Basic Privacy Settings

Customized Privacy Settings

Things Others Share

Contact Information

Application Privacy Settings

Block Users and Invites

Edit Profile Settings – Basic Information

Setting

Recommendation for teens

Current city

Generally OK

Hometown

Generally OK

Interested In

Leave blank or think about whether the interests you type in reflect positively on you

Looking For

Leave blank

Political Views

Think about how filling this in might affect people’s perception of you and whether it could subject you to bullying

Religious Views

Generally OK, but – as above – filling this in might affect people’s perception of you

Bio

Generally OK, but don’t go overboard – think about how your info might look to others

Favorite Quotation

Probably OK, but check back in every now and then to see if it still represents you

Profile Picture

An appropriate photo of yourself or an object or cartoon character that represents you; or just leave blank

Relationship Status

Leave blank

Education and Work

Generally OK to list your school. Consider not listing employer

Likes and Interests
(activities, music, books, movies, etc.)

Generally OK but think about what you list, how it will be perceived & whether it will subject you to bullying

Contact Information in Profile

Setting

Recommendation for Teens

Emails

Generally OK, but make available to Friends Only in Customized Privacy Settings

IM Screen Name(s)

Generally OK, but make available to Friends Only in Customized Privacy Settings

Mobile Phone

Leave blank

Other phone

Leave blank

Address/City/Town/Zip and Neighborhood

Leave blank

Website

Generally OK


Basic Privacy Settings

Setting

Recommendation for Teens

Basic Privacy Settings

Friends Only & click “Apply These Settings”


Customized Privacy Settings

(Click “Customize settings” at bottom of page.)

Setting

Recommendation

Posts by me

Friends Only

Family

Friends Only

Relationships

Only Me

Interested and looking for

Only Me

Bio and favorite quotations

Friends Only

Website

Friends Only

Religious and political views

Only Me or perhaps Friends Only

Places I check into

Only Me

Include me in “People Here Now” after I check in

Disable

Things Others Share
(Click “Customize settings” at bottom of page and scroll to
section in left-hand column below.)

Photos and videos I’m tagged in

Friends Only

Can comment on posts

Friends Only

Friends can post on my Wall

Friends Only

Friends can check me in to Places

Disable

Contact Information

Setting

Recommendation for Teens

Mobile phone

Customize & limit to people they know & trust or “Only Me”

Other phone

Customize & limit to people they know & trust or “Only Me”

Address

Customize & limit to “Only Me”

IM screen name

Friends Only

Email address

Friends Only

Application Privacy Settings

Setting

Recommendation for Teens

Applications you use

Review apps with your kids and remove any that are inappropriate

Info accessible through your friends

Review list. Disable most. Definitely disable “Places I check into”

Game and application activity

Friends Only & customize to even fewer people

Instant personalization

Uncheck “Enable instant personalization on partner website”

Public search

Disable if enabled (for minors, the default is now “Enable when I’m 18”

Block Users and Application & Event Invites from specific user
(Click “Block Lists” at bottom of Privacy Settings page.)

Setting

Recommendation for Teens

Instructions

Edit your (block) list

Block any individuals who are annoying you or who you wish to avoid

Block users you wish to avoid. You can also block application and event invites from specific people and block or unblock specific applications from contacting you or using your contact information

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom

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