Today I am going to discuss very sensitive topic affecting all parents.Your kids safety on social media.We heard a lot of crime and mishap because of social media misuse.As both major social media Facebook and twitter has 13 years of minimum age to create login, parents needs to be very careful about it.I am also going to discuss about some tools, which helps to monitor kids activity on social media and help parents to make their kids aware about social media drawbacks.I am dividing this in two parts, in this part, I am going to discus more in terms of Facebook and in next part I will discuss about risk of Twitter for your kids.
Lets first see some major incidents happens with kids because of misuse/ of social media:
Jalandhar, Punjab: Raksha Sharma, a student of computer engineering at the MCM Polytechnic College in Jalandhar, was found hanging from the ceiling fan in her hostel room on Tuesday morning. In that room was a suicide note. The 20-year-old blames two former students of the same college-both male- for harassing her and posting comments on Facebook that distressed her http://www.ndtv.com/article/cities/in-suicide-note-student-blames-facebook-comments-255172
17-year-old Aishwarya Dahiwal was told by her parents to focus on her college studies, and to not waste her time on the social network or on her cellphone. Instead of pouting, the girl hanged herself, leaving a suicide note asking, ‘Is Facebook so bad? I cannot stay in a home with such restrictions and I can’t live without Facebook.’
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/indian-teen-commits-suicide-facebook-ban-article-1.1498914#ixzz2nKYdWJar
‘Good morning…the journey of my life ends today’: Student announces suicide on FB after scoring poor marks.Read more at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/student-announces-suicide-on-facebook-hangs-himself-saurabh-gupta-poor-marks/1/291087.html
And the list goes on.If you search on internet there are lot of stories coming up in India like this.In most of cases teens got involved in Facebook crime or they became victim of the crimes.If you have a kid who is 13+ year old, you need to be very careful with what social media he/she is using, how often they uses and whether they understand how much they share.Parents should talk to their kids about it and make a guideline on how much they use social media and what is the boundary of sharing.Lets see some major attacks or problems might happens because of misuse of Facebook.
Less concentration on study – Not all but most of the kids use more time in social media and parents should track it.You cannot restrict it completely but surely you need to discuss the time your kids spent on it.It should never hampers their study.
Protect private information – Kids often not sure what and how much information should be shared with friends and outside world.Parent should talk with children and make sure they understand about their privacy.Many cases have been observed about privacy and information like phone numbers,photos etc have been misused.
– Latest addition in drawback of social media.It happens when when somebody intentionally try to harass you on social media by posting fake photographs,video,email, message, rumors and even fake profile.check out this video for more :
Adult content – Because of social media kids also tries to access adult or pornographic content which they should not.Unless you supervise your kids, it is impossible to track what keyword or content your kids is searching for.
Less time to play outdoor games – Even your kids is using social media in good way, still more usage of it means he/she will have less time to either play out or less time to study.
There are many tools nowadays available to track and monitor your kid’s activity on internet.This is not any way to invade privacy as you never did this without telling your kids.There should be a agreed upon discussion with your kids where your explain these things with your kids and they are fully aware about this monitoring.They should be aware that these things are only done to protect and secure them from drawbacks of social media and never intrude or invasion in their privacy.Lets see some of them:
- Norton Family – A perfect software from Norton to monitor and tracking your kids activity.I like it most as it comes in both free and paid version.Its free version also contains many great features.Paid version will cost you around INR 3000($50).Lets see some of its features:
Screenretriever – This is another tool which offer same services but in a different way.This will capture your kids screen activity and keep them in a file which you can view later.It can provides a way to monitor your kids activity on social sites as well as well keep any eye on website they try to access and not only urls.This tools claims to stop all cyber bullying and pornography sites by allowing parents to see what their kids see.And also if kids always knows you are monitoring them, it decreases the chances of risk.The not so best part is it is not free and you need to spend around $50 to purchase it.It has also a full feature 7 days free trial. check out this video for more info:
Avira social network protection – Well this is another good tool.It comes free and keep an eye on your kids personal and public profile.It sends an alert to parent whenever it find some suspicious activity like cyber bullying, fake photo tagged etc.Besdies Facebook It also cover also other social sites like twitter,email, feeds etc.It requires either to provide your facebook access to this tool or it will send an email to your kids which they needs to accept and grant access of social sites to this tool.Check out here for more info.
Conclusion – It is a high time when we realize the impact of social media on our kids life.There is a age for everything and kids should understand it.Parent needs to guide their kids till 18 years after which they mature and ready to take decision themselves.Parent needs to discuss safety and risk issue with their kids and should make a standard rules and guidelines for using social media.Tools on the other hand lets you monitor kids activity to make sure they are on track and not misusing it.The whole aim of social media should be gives a medium to kids to interact with their friends and share stuff and not fall into some kind of trap.
Lets share how you protect your kids from bad sides of social media sites and what tool you use.Lets end this note with this video from CNet about dos and don’ts for your kids on Facebook.