Social networks are anywhere where people can communicate and share information online. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are big networks of connected personal profile pages that allow you to send messages, post photos and express your personal thoughts.
Popular social networks
Why it's great !
Social networking can be an easy way to stay connected with friends and family! A quick visit to a friend's page or even your feed can get you up to speed on what's new with them fast. Plus, it's a space that's all about you and how you want to express yourself.
The not so great!
A person's social networking page is online and can be accessible by essentially anyone surfing the Internet. Photos, messages and personal details are easily passed around from page to page, meaning you need to think twice about what personal details you post on your page.
It's easy to get carried away and post too much personal information in a profile. Sites like Facebook were originally made for university students and have areas to enter which school you go to and the type of people you'd like to date. You should not fill these areas in.
Privacy settings on your account are important! Who can see your page is something you control. Set your account to require your approval before someone can see your full page.
Remember! There's no taking an online post back. Photos and messages are easily copied by other uses without you knowing it. Even if you delete something off your site or page there's no way of knowing who already saved the picture or message to their computer.
Set it up together!
If you're creating a personal page for the first time, have a trusted adult help you. That way you'll be sure to have all the right privacy settings turned on. This adult can even help you decide what kinds of photos and information about yourself are safe to post.
Already have one? Share your profile and privacy settings with a trusted adult so they can double check that your page is set correctly to protect you and friends.
Top concerns for social networking:
Never put your phone number, home or school address on your site. Talk with an adult you trust about what information should be private!
Check your account/privacy settings! Only people you know in the real world should have access to your site.
Think twice about what photos you post and don't post photos of others without their permission.
Check your friends' pages to make sure they're respecting your privacy too.
Get more tips on how you can make social networking safer for your kids.
Sign up for the social networking sites your kids use, and have them add you as a friend so you can monitor their page.
Ask to see your child’s friend list. Make sure their friends are people they actually know in real life.
Show your child how to use a site’s privacy settings, and explain why it’s important to limit who can see their profile.
Read through the privacy policies, FAQs, and parent sections of the sites your children visit to understand the features and privacy controls. It’s your right as a parent to review and delete your child’s profile if they are under 13!
Tell your kids to trust their instincts. Encourage them to tell you whenever they feel threatened by someone or something online.