What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that teens must be diligent about setting privacy controls on Facebook. Every time Facebook updates its features, users must check settings to confirm what information they're sharing and what they're keeping private. "Frictionless sharing" apps -- which allow users to share without having to take action -- bring additional privacy concerns. The Facebook timeline shows every activity going back to a user's first post. It's like a permanent record, but the good news is that you can use it to delete posts you really don't want there anymore or change a post's privacy setting for it to be viewable only by yourself.
Privacy shortcuts in the upper-right-hand corner of the page allow you to remove personal information like your gender or birthday, and you can block search engines from showing a direct link to your timeline. To completely remove previous posts from searches, you'll need to review your Activity Log to see a list of all your Facebook activity and review or edit the privacy setting for each item. After you've made privacy updates, you can double-check your changes by clicking View As, which will show you what your timeline looks like to a specific friend or to the public.
Facebook's most recent changes allow kids 13 to 17 to share timeline posts publicly rather than only with friends (or friends-of-friends). The first time kids choose to post publicly, a pop-up window will appear, reminding them that even strangers may see their posts and that they might end up getting messages from people they don't know. From that point forward, when kids post, they'll see a shorter pop-up reminder, simply letting them know that they're posting publicly (but they won't get any privacy or safety reminders). However, kids' default privacy settings are now set to Friends Only -- until they decide they want to share more widely.
Other recent changes include the Graph Search, a super-charged search tool that mines Facebook's wealth of user data. From the search bar on the top left of the page, you can explore general info like "nearby restaurants" and "pages about news" or dig for more personal tidbits such as "music my friends like" and "people who like dogs and live in San Francisco." The new Scrapbooks feature allows parents to tag photos of their kids and create a virtual scrapbook to share with friends and family. Because content about a kid under 13 is being curated, and more features are bound to roll out, the privacy and safety implications aren't clear. With such easy access to user data, it's important to recheck your privacy settings. For each section of your timeline (for example, About, Likes, Music, and Groups), click the pencil icon in the top right of the section box to review privacy settings and modify who can see (and search for) the info. The Graph Search bar also doubles as a Web search powered by Bing. Search results have "strict" filtering for users age 13 to 17 so long as they have their true ages listed on their Facebook accounts.
What kids can learn
- global awareness
- multiple forms of expression
- conveying messages effectively
- respecting other viewpoints
Responsibility & Ethics
- making wise decisions
- respect for others
- following codes of conduct
- social media
Engagement, Approach, Support
One of the most addictive sites on the Internet. Kids (and grown-ups) can spend many hours virtually socializing on this granddaddy of social media sites.
Teens can practice communication skills by posting and commenting, and a cascade of prompts teases out quirky forms of self-expression. By setting up privacy controls, teens also can learn responsible social networking.
Teens won't easily find direct guidance or tips on responsible social networking; more likely they'll learn through experience. Though Facebook offers a range of privacy controls, figuring out the options can be tricky.
What's it about?
FACEBOOK is a popular social-networking site. Users connect with people of their choosing -- either privately or publicly -- with whom they can then communicate through the platform and who then can see various aspects of what they post. Users also can play games, watch videos, decorate their pages, post and tag photos, share favorite product information, \"like\" favorite celebrities and social causes, and more. There are options to adjust privacy settings, but they're difficult to find and tricky to set.
Is it any good?
Facebook offers registered users a fun way to keep in almost constant contact with friends, family, and acquaintances -- and every update adds another reason for heavy users to make Facebook an essential part of their lives. Privacy experts warn about the dangers of oversharing and how it can compromise teens' safety and reputation, making strict privacy settings, restraint, and wise use of the "remove" button critical.
Timeline provides a complete list of photos you've posted, posts you've made, and other activity throughout your entire history on Facebook (or longer if you go back to fill in your pre-Facebook years with photos). Graph Search makes navigating the mountain of user data on Facebook a breeze. However, though Graph Search can boost Facebook's potential as a fun and valuable resource for networking and pursuing new interests, it also can make users who are less savvy about their own privacy settings more vulnerable to accidental oversharing. Having this much information readily available for viewing may appeal to some users, but others will want to use their privacy settings carefully to remove some content from view. If kids do choose to share publicly, they'll get a pop-up reminder explaining that what they're about to post will be available for everyone to see. However, this pop-up reminder is very easy for kids to click past.
The site's "frictionless sharing" apps bring another set of privacy concerns. It's important to note that users aren't required to use these types of apps, but, if they choose to, they're agreeing to give up some aspects of their privacy -- not just to their friends, subscribers, and the public but also to advertisers.
Fortunately, Facebook continues to provide users with numerous options for privacy settings. For example, you can opt to approve photo and other tags before they're posted to your timeline and control who sees past posts if you adjust your privacy settings accordingly. You also can opt to hide types of activity -- such as people you friend -- and remove photos from your timeline. However, making your profile less public may require you to adjust several default settings.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how to responsibly use social-networking sites -- and how to react if someone (even a good friend) posts something inappropriate on your timeline. (Parents should get up to speed on Facebook so they have a sense of what kids are doing on it.)
Discuss privacy settings. Because Facebook makes frequent changes, it's a good idea to sit down with your teen for periodic profile reviews. Pay close attention to the privacy settings and which posts, photos, and personal information are visible and to whom.