Social media and the internet are an ever present part of the world in which we live. While it is a great tool for staying in touch with family and friends, it also provides a platform for less wholesome activities.
Children, adolescents, and young adults are especially vulnerable online. Because they have grown up with social media, they are often unaware of the need to be secure online and how important it is to take measures to protect themselves. The internet, and social media, provide opportunities to those preying on children and those looking to promote or recruit for their cause. Social media also presents opportunities for bullying and other forms of abuse. Parents must take an active role in monitoring their children’s online activity and they must be highly sensitive to the potential dangers of allowing their children to enter the online community. This link to an article on Parenting.com gives parents specific tips for monitoring social media.
In collaboration with the EAFB public affairs office, here are some more steps to increase your security online:
- Don't friend people you don't know
- Understand your privacy settings -- remember that the safest setting for any site is allowing "only friends" to access your information
- Remove your last name from your Facebook page -- this is a quick and easy step to reduce your visibility to people you don't know
- Limit the use of applications -- though they can be a great help, they can also be a liability. Many of Facebook's most popular applications transmit personal user information to outside servers
- Protect your location -- understand that "checking in" shows the world where you live, work, and socialize
- Don't overshare personal information
An important note to keep in mind is that Facebook, in its terms of service, states that no one under the age of 13 is to have an account.