- If your child is under 13 you don’t need to read any further. The answer is a simple ‘No’. To protect your children make sure they don’t have an account before they are old enough.
- When they turn 13 the first condition is that they set up the account with you. This means you too must have an account. It will help you understand how Facebook works and what Facebook jargon means.
- Make sure your child ‘friends’ you. This means that you can watch what your child is posting on their friends’ walls and what is being posted on their wall. You may agree to be ‘defriended’ as they grow up and as they prove to you that they can manage their communications in a respectful manner.
- Make sure that your child shares their User Name and Password with you. This allows you to see their private chat log and their messages but in the early days you may wish to monitor them as well.
- Make sure your child only ‘friends’ people they know in real life. Literally anyone can send you a friend request. Regularly go through their list of friends with them to check that they are genuine friends. It is reassuring for your child to know that if they delete a ‘friend’ the ‘friend’ does not receive a message that this has occurred.
- Discuss boundaries with your child. Your child needs to know that he/she should not post any personal information online. No reference to their full name, name of their school, their address or their birthday.
- Limit your child’s access to the computer. Computers are a way of life, but as a parent you want to be able to monitor what your child is doing on the computer. Make sure the computer is in a central location and not in their bedroom.
- Invest in software that monitors and/or limits your child’s computer activity. Check out our Filter tab. Our IT Department has tested many filters and outlined their features.
- Monitor the photos your child posts . Pictures can lead to online bullying and sometimes too much information. Posting photos of a netball game in school uniform can tell unwanted people what school your child goes to.
- Set the privacy settings on Facebook. Facebook will show phone numbers, pictures, your location and other personal information if you don’t turn it off. Make sure you are there to help your child set up their account.
As seen on Sunrise
Endorsed by Dr Michael Carr-Gregg
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