Home > Our Products > Can You Trust Social Networks to Protect Your Kids When Online?

Can You Trust Social Networks to Protect Your Kids When Online?

Facebook has recently announced that it is considering allowing kids under 13 years of age to register and use its services. While the kids are super excited, alarm bells have been going off in the heads of worried parents. It is not helped by the fact that recently Habbo, a social networking game, and Skout, a flirting app which is location-based, were reported to have a security issue where adults used the services to sexually exploit underage users.

Network Security is never Foolproof

Regardless of the number of security measuresimplemented and the steps taken by social networking sites, the fact of the matter is that network security is never foolproof. With the advancement in technology, people can easily cover their tracks to an extent where the credibility of their existence can be questioned. In fact, anonymous social media accounts have become quite common these days. Every new security measure has a loophole and the hackers are united when it comes to cracking a new security measure.

Identity of an Online User Can Never Be Definitively Established

Social networking sites have this facility where the user can display only what he/she wants to display. This means, you can never know if the user at the other end is who he/she is claiming to be or someone else. Even pictures and videos can be faked. Even on kids networking sites, adults can pose as kids, which is a serious security threat to the kids considering they are innocent and unaware of the bad things in the world. They can be easily manipulated and taken advantage of, as it allegedly happened in the case of Habbo and Skout.

Parents Role in Protecting their Kids

Some parents feel that they have done their job after installing the security software and allowing the kids to only the specified and safe sites. But that is a grave mistake on their part. Parents need to be pro-active when it comes to social networking of their kids. This is very difficult considering most kids consider parents to be an obstacle in their social life.

One strategy that parents can adopt is by being involved with your kids’ social network. Since you will be on their list of friends, you can keep a tab on the other friends your kids make. If any particular account makes you suspicious, you can make your kids understand that the account might be compromised and convince them to remove the suspicious account from their list.

Age Limits Do Not Work

Social networking sites have age limits for their users. But it is not like you have to submit a document that validates your age before your account is activated. All you need to do is use a fake year for your date of birth and you are good to go. If you think that your kids are on a social network with age limits and assume that they are safe, think again.

Setting Some Ground Rules

You can strictly instruct your children on some basic ground rules which will keep them safe. For example, instruct the kids to never share details through which they can be tracked. These details include phone numbers, address, daily activity details, etc. Ask them never to meet up with a person who they befriended online. This is the main way in which miscreants gain access to unsuspecting people, including children, and exploit them.

There is No Perfect Solution to This Problem

The only way you can be totally reassured about this problem is by banning your kids from using social networks, which is not an option considering the role a social network has in a youngster’s life. The best you can do is keep warning your kids to stay on guard and also monitoring them in any way you can to ensure that they stay safe online.

Categories: Our Products
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: