Posts Tagged family safety

Facebook and Children: Cyber-expert Says No to Kids Under 13 for Family Safety

Posted on May 26, 2012 with No Comments

Online family safety is a hot topic right now, especially with Facebook and children. Parents who allow children younger than 13 to use facebook are exposing their children to serious dangers of the internet and are 'living in La La Land' says ex-cop.

A former Victoria Police officer turned cyber-safety consultant says parents who let their children go on facebook before they are teenagers and compromising family safety and 'not doing a good enough job as a parent'.

Cyber safety expert Susan McLean advised Harlaxton State School in Queensland, who are threatening to expel students who join facebook or refuse to delete their accounts.  With very few parents and school officials who know how to monitor Facebook, there are real issues surrounding Cyber bullying, privacy, how to be safe online and the lack of regulation for those under 13 using the social network.

No Child Unprotected1NN Facebook and Children: Cyber expert Says No to Kids Under 13 for Family Safety"I think the issue is not about the fact that the principal may or may not be reviewing a child's enrollment," says Susan Mclean."The issue is that there are young people using facebook against the Terms and Conditions of Use," she says.

Susan compares Facebook and children under age 13 to those children under age 15 see innapropriately rated films. "There's rules there for very good reasons and I think we are doing children a disservice if we pick and choose what rules we think kids should obey," says Susan Mclean. She believes it's immaterial if people disagree with the rule.

"You are signing up to facebook," she says, "When you sign up you say I accept, I accept, I agree, I agree, I agree." She says if you allow your child on facebook you are putting your child at risk for internet dangers.

"I don't care whether you reckon you supervise or not you don't have any idea about what goes on on facebook," she says."You're not living in the real world, you're in La La Land".

Facebook has picked an age for a reason and they do acknowledge that there are dangers on the internet and there are online predators.  Unfortunately many people have no idea about how predatory some people are online.

"No-one can pick a paedophile, it doesn't matter who you are, and these people are extremely clever," says Susan. Why any parent would want to put a child in a place of risk anytime before they need to be there completely goes against basic rules of online family safety.

Susan said that parents should not be fear-mongering… "it's being realistic and understanding the nature of the internet. I think the internet's fabulous and I don't think we should demonise facebook or social media."  

"When it's not fabulous is when young children are doing the wrong thing online."

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How Can I Stop Bullying on Social Networks?

Posted on May 21, 2012 with No Comments

Most parents want to ensure that children will be safe online from Bullies and other Internet Dangers. In order to address the question, How can I stop bullying?, we must look first at some real facts about cyber bullying and the realities surrounding the social network it happens on most – Facebook.

What is Cyberbullying? 

Cyber Bullying is when a person is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or targeted by another using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies, or mobile phones.

Last year alone, Consumer Reports shows that more than one million children were harassed, threatened or subject to other forms of abuse on Facebook in 2011. This is nearly 60% of kids or 1 out of every 3 children who use the social network!

The statistics are alarming, yet only 7% of U.S. parents are worried about Internet dangers such as cyberbullying (according to the Pew Internet and American Life Survey, 2011).

It’s obvious the problem is real. So let’s get to the nitty gritty details of how to be safe online and answer the question at hand with regard to social networks.

How Can I stop Bullying?

CS Bullying Quote How Can I Stop Bullying on Social Networks?

  1. Keep a record of the activity. Be sure to record the time and date of each incident as you will need to provide this to law enforcement in order to catch the creeps.
  2. Tell Someone.  One of the biggest reasons bullies get away with it is that kids don’t tell anyone. Encourage kids to talk to someone they trust, whether it be a parent, friend, sibling, school counselor or teacher.
  3. Contact your phone or Internet Service Provider.  If you report what is happening, they can help you combat Internet dangers such as Cyberbullying by blocking messages or calls from certain senders.
  4. Don't Respond to Cyberbullies.  All Bullies share one thing in common. Something hurts them so much on the inside they have to hurt someone else in order to feel good.  If you don’t respond to their antics, they won’t get what they want. So don’t give them a reaction by responding and they won't get what they want. 
  5. Threats or Serious Harrassment. If messages indicate serious threats then do not hesitate to contact the police right away. Remember, If Cyberbullying is threatening, it is illegal.
  6. Change your Contact Information. Get a new user name for Facebook, change your e-mail account, or change your mobile phone number.
  7. Online Privacy is Golden.  This cannot be stressed enough. Keep your username and passwords Private. Make sure personal information is kept private so it doesn't fall into the hands of someone who'll misuse it. 

Lastly, in order to truly be safe online and prevent internet dangers such as cyberbullying, it is important that you understand the laws. For a comprehensive list of bullying laws by state, Go Here.


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