As matters stand, Facebook is one of the world's most popular social networks, attracting over 1.28 billion active monthly users. However, many of these users neglect to implement sufficient privacy measures as studies show that 25% of Facebook users are currently active without any privacy settings. Therefore, it is crucial that you check your child's Facebook profile and ensure they have comprehensive privacy settings in place which protect their personal information. By controlling who can view your child's information, you protect them from online users who they do not know in real life.
On Facebook, your child will have a Timeline whereupon they can post photos, comments, videos and interact with their friends. In order to control who can view your child's Timeline information, click on 'Update Info' which is located underneath your child's cover photo. From here, you can click the 'Edit' button next to the specific information you wish to edit. Each piece of information, which is visible on your child’s Timeline, will have an audience selector so that you can tailor who is allowed access to it.
It is also possible to control who sees the information which other people post onto your child's Timeline. If your child is tagged in a photos, post, or app activity you can pre-emptively approve or dismiss these tags by switching on Timeline review. Subsequently, you can set an audience for who can see posts your child has been tagged in on their Timeline. To do this, select 'Settings' on the top right hand side of the page, click 'Timeline and Tagging' in the left column and search for 'Who can see what others post on your Timeline?'. Upon clicking 'Edit', you can select which of your child's friends can view your child's social media content.
There is also a helpful View As tool, which enables you to see what your child's Timeline looks like to other people who visit their profile. By sitting down with your child and demonstrating these process to them, you can educate your child how to use their Facebook profile in a way which protects their privacy and personal information.
Furthermore, if your child wishes to alter who can view a post which they have already shared, you can teach them how to do so. What you need to do is return to the audience sector which was mentioned earlier and select a new audience. Select 'Settings' and then 'Privacy' from the left menu of your 'Account' page and you will be able to locate the 'Who can see my stuff?' section. Within this section, you can click on an option called 'Limit the audience for posts I've shared with friends of friends or Public'. By clicking on 'Limit Old Posts', you will be able to help your child alter their previous Facebook activity and safeguard their profile from future views.
For more information on how to adjust your child's privacy settings, simply click 'Account' at the top of any Facebook page and select 'Privacy Settings' in the dropdown menu that appears.
As well as improving your child's Facebook privacy settings, you can also teach them how to report an issue. For example, if they are being contacted by a suspicious online user or if they are receiving threatening or offensive comments from another user.
If your child is Facebook friends with someone with whom they no longer wish to share information, then there is the option to 'Unfriend them'. This is a very simple process; all your child has to do is visit this person's Facebook profile and select the 'Unfriend' icon, which is located on the right hand side of their timeline. Alternatively, if you wish not only to unfriend someone, but to also make it so that they can no longer view your child's profile at all on Facebook then you can 'Block' them. By blocking a person on Facebook, you will no longer be able to view one another's' profiles or locate one another in search results. To do this, go onto your 'Privacy Settings' and click on your block list. Now you can use the 'Report/Block' option, which is located on the right hand side of the person's timeline.
If the person who you wish to block has threatened or offended your child, you can also report them. If a person's content has violated Facebook's Terms in any way, simply use the 'Report' link next to the offending post, timeline or page. All reports made to Facebook are completely confidential so your child need not worry. Once you have submitted a report, Facebook will investigate the issue and decide upon an appropriate course of action.