How safe are your kiddies online? Some would argue, not safe enough. Facebook in the UK has agreed to a panic button. The button, aimed at children and teenagers, will send an alert to both Facebook and a government child protection agency. The agency had called for the button in the wake of the rape and murder of British teen Ashleigh Hall by a 33-year-old-sex offender posing as a teenage boy who she met on the site.
Do you think they need this same button in the U.S.A? I say yes. The U.S. has some of the same problems with predators and molesters, luring kids from online for their own sick needs. Hopefully they will follow suit. It is the parents responsibility to keep their children safe online. However, adding a panic button to Facebook in every country might be the extra precaution needed to lessen the chances of an online predator approaching a child. Myspace and Bebo have already placed the button in use. With the advent of the internet, it is becoming more and more difficult to protect out children online, but it is not impossible.
The following are a few tips to protect your children while they are on social networks.
1. Have the passwords and usernames to your children’s social networks. Check on your child’s activities regularly.
2. Have time restrictions. Do not allow your child to sit on social networks for extended periods of time.
3. Make your child’s page private.
4. Be honest with yourself about your child. No one knows your child like you do. Ask yourself is your child mature enough to be in the world of social networking? Not every child is ready for the responsibilities and temptations that the online world can bring.
5. If you also are a member of the same social network, friend your child. This way you can occasional take a look at your child’s online activities and see who is requesting friendships from them.
6. Establish guidelines. If you have to, only allow your children to friend people on their social networks that they know from school, day programs, etc..
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