In addition to talking to your kids about the dangers of being sexually exploited online and offline, FBI offers some concrete ways you can help them protect themselves on social media.
By Rakesh Raman
Today, social media sites like Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter are frequented by idle junkies who waste their time on such sites. They keep hanging out on these sites without any purpose or play useless social media games.
You’d hardly see a serious social media user who uses such sites for a meaningful discussion or for professional social media marketing.
As social media has already lost its significance, social media accounts can be hijacked by criminals and others for nefarious purposes. And it’s often a young victim at the other end of the computer, suggests the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Which is why parents need to be aware of what could happen if their child unknowingly comes across someone on social media who poses a threat—and should talk to their kids about it.
In addition to talking to your kids about the dangers of being sexually exploited online and offline, FBI offers some concrete ways you can help them protect themselves on social media:
1. Make sure the privacy settings on your kids’ social media accounts are high, but also keep in mind that information can inadvertently be leaked by friends and family, so remind kids they should still be careful about posting certain information about themselves—like street address, phone number, Social Security number, etc.
2. Remind your kids they should post only what they’re comfortable with others seeing. Encourage them to think about the language they use online and to think before posting pictures and videos. And remind them that once they post something, they can’t take it back.
[ Also Read: How to Protect Your Child from Poisonous Pollution ]
3. Be aware of who your kids’ online friends are, and advise them to accept friend requests only from people they know personally.
4. Encourage your kids to tell you if they feel threatened by someone or uncomfortable because of something online.
5. Report inappropriate activity to the website or to law enforcement.
6. Know that teens are not always honest about what they are doing online. Some will let their parents “friend” them, for example, but will then establish another space online that is hidden from their parents.
These tips from the FBI can help parents protect their children from the sexual predators roaming in the online universe.
You also can read: More Articles by the RMN Editor, Rakesh Raman
Photo courtesy: FBI