Social Networking Tips for Parents
Social media is extremely popular among adults and even young people. Many people, especially teens, find social media sites addictive, fun and convenient to use. Facebook alone tallies at least a hundred million users, who log in every day. This is because social networking sites create a connection to people from all over the world. It is a great form of communication and can easily disseminate information. However, it turns out that social media sites are slowly turning into every parent’s nightmare. Apparently, there are also people who abuse social networking sites to obtain important information.
It’s All about Hanging with Friends Online
Social media sites are fun for a lot of people. Through social media, even kids could learn lots of things, express creativity and engage in interactive activities in the virtual world. Their interaction with their friends could be done on a whole new level. However, it is unfortunate that a lot of parents are unaware of their kids’ social activities online. This alone poses various threats to their kids or their family’s privacy and even security.
Social media sites are similar to the virtual version of a recreational park, where various people could interact virtually at any time of the day. Like a recreational park also, young people are exposed to different kinds of people and different practices. Unfortunately, some of these practices may not be appropriate for young users. This is one of the reasons why it is important for parents and guardians to monitor the activities of their kids while they are online.
Why Social Networking Matters
Social networking does matter. While many would believe that it is a convenient form of communication and learning, it could also pose various risks to its users. For instance, it is capable of damaging anybody’s reputation because everything that is posted online cannot be easily removed, and these posts can be easily leaked to the public. In social networking also, the privacy and safety of its users are compromised by various players like marketers, who have the capability of monitoring the activities done by users in a given period.
Parent Tips for Young Kids
Young kids love to explore new things and the majority of them are fascinated by games and other fun stuff. It wouldn’t be wrong to introduce them to online educational games as long as they are using sites that are appropriate to their ages. Also, it would be good if the websites have strong safety features so that the kids will not be exposed to forms of media that are not appropriate for them.
Parent Tips for Middle School Kids
A set of rules should be able to guide kids on which things to do and not to do while online. As a parent, guide them and monitor their activities from time to time. You may do this by creating a social networking account of your own. Also, it would be great if you are familiar with the privacy settings of the websites your kids visit. In addition, let your kids know that before they post anything online, they should think it through. Is it an appropriate post? Are there risks associated with it?
Parent Tips for High School Kids
Remind your teens that a single post online could ruin their reputation. So, it would be wise for them to think before posting a photo or status online. Encourage them think about the consequences first and ask themselves the following questions prior to posting photos, videos and statuses online: How would my friends and older people interpret my post? Would it be appropriate to share this post with the public?
- Tufts University Web Communications: Social Media Overview
- UCL: What is Social Media?
- United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team: Using Social Networking Services [PDF]
- US Fire Administration: Security and Privacy on Social Networking Sites [PDF]
- National Security Agency: Best Practices For Keeping Your Home Network Secure [PDF]
- Stay Smart Online: Social Networking Safely
- Social Networking Sites: Safety Tips for Tweens and Teens [PDF]
- State of Texas: Security and Privacy on Social Networking Web Sites [PDF]
- Social Networking Guide
- State of West Virginia: Security and Privacy on Social Networking Sites [PDF]
- Australian Government: Online Social Networking
- Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Office of Cyber Security: Security and Privacy on Social Networking Sites
- University of the Pacific: Online Social Networking Dangers and Benefits
- Wisconsin Center For Education Research: Benefits and Drawbacks of Social Media in Education
- Business Link: Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Social Media
- Connect Safely: A Parent’s Guide to Facebook [PDF]
- Social Networking Sites: A Parent’s Guide
- On Guard Online: Kids and Socializing Online
- Stop Bullying: Cyberbullying
- Cybersmart: Guide to Online Safety
- Montana Department of Justice: Kids and Computers
- Idaho Office of the Attorney General: Parents Guide to Social Networking Websites [PDF]
- Website of UK Government: Cyberbullying
- Health Information for Girls: Cyberbullying
- Health Finder: Social Media Has Good and Bad Effects on Kids
- Federal Bureau of Investigation: Cyber Alerts for Parents and Kids
- Harvard Business School: Understanding Users of Social Networks
- Why Some Use Social Media and Others Don’t
- Raising Children Network: Internet Safety
- Australian Law Reform Commission: Online Social Networking
- The Commission For Children and Young People and Child Guardian: Tips for Parents to Help Young People to be Safe Online [PDF]
- The Gazette: Tips on Handling Cyberbullying and Sexting
- Common Sense Media: Social Networking Tips
- Girl Scouts: Who’s That Girl Parent Tips [PDF]
- Your Daughter and Social Networking: Ten Must-Know Tips for Parents
- McAfee: Social Networking E-Guide [PDF]
- Netsmart: Teens
- 2SMRT4U: What to Type
- Internet Safety: Safe Surfing Tips for Teens
- Wharton University of Pennsylvania: Myspace Facebook and Other Networking Sites
by Michael Costa