Teach Your Children to Be Safe On Internet Social Media
By: Moumita Basu
A lot of my friends have children who also have their social media profiles websites such as Facebook, or MySpace. Most of these websites often have a lower age limit, such as for Facebook the child has to be of a minimum age of twelve years. And yet I find so many children having a profile even if they are underage.
When my niece had opened a social media profile, even when she was an under aged minor, it made me aware of a problem which have begun to affect most Internet-savvy households today. She, like many of her friends, has just changed her date of birth, to be eligible to open an account. Was it a minor aberration? Actually no, for, apparently a whole lot of her friends have done that to access the site. The situation, I felt, presents a hugely dangerous condition, that of children being vulnerable to assaults from adult predators. If a child can change her date of birth to skip the minor age criteria of a social media website, what stops a 25-year old man from lowering his date of birth and befriend her? How comfortable will then her parents be? Not only here the question of teaching our children the right value comes, here also comes the question of how safe our children are in the Internet?
Dangerous Social Media
The dangers are too many for letting children access social media sites without supervision.
By allowing our children to break a rule by lying, we are offering wrong moral signals and bad role model to our children, who may take our acquiesce as a signal for them to do what they feel like while on these social media pages.
Vulnerability to Hackers
Every social media page is vulnerable to hackers and malwares, and every individual, including children, must be exceptionally careful before sharing personal information over such websites. Most often I find adults being careless about their privacy or security concerns regarding sharing their personal experiences, and I wonder how much such parents will be able to teach their children about these serious issues. Every time the social media websites upgrade their features, they lower their users’ security settings in order to allow their sponsors to have as much user-information as possible. Even for the savviest of the users of such media, it’s a constant one-upmanship between the company and the users to stay safe through increased safety controls.