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Published by on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at 1:00:00 PM

Parents - Should Your Kids Use Social Media

Should Kids Use Social Media?Ninety-five per cent of teens online say they have either been a victim of or have seen incidents of cyber bullying. Thousands of kids per day are contacted by strangers or known acquaintances with ill intentions. Some abductions of young children have been attributed to the use of social media sites like Face Book and My Space. Amid all the harrowing facts, it begs the question of whether are not kids should even have access to social media. Face Book has an age limit of 13. But the question remains: Is 13 old enough to handle the issues they may encounter online? While social media can be a helpful tool for networking and communicating, even for kids, here are some cautions and tips that are good to implement, to ensure your child is not a victim of cyber bullying, or inappropriate communications with others.

1) Be aware of any new friend requests from people you do not know. Predators scan the internet to find victims. So if someone you do not know asks to be a friend or a friend of your child, use caution. Look at their Face Book page, pose as your child, and see what they say to you. FBI agents do this all the time to catch criminals. If they have bad intentions, it will come out before too much time.

2) Always ask yourself “Why are they contacting your child?” Knowing the motivation for contact for your child is the first line of defense. For example, if the person is the child’s soccer coach, this may be a way they can tell them about practice times or games. If they are a classmate, they may just want to be friends. But if the child says they don’t know them, or don’t consider them a friend, don’t add them. It is generally a good practice for kids not to add anyone they do not know in the real world.

3) Make anyone who is a “friend” of your child’s, your friend too. If someone has the right intentions, they won’t mind you being on their social media also. That way, you can see any new activity they do, including posting on your child’s wall. Send them a quick message introducing yourself as your child’s parent. If they have ill intentions, they won’t want you seeing what they are doing. Ask them to be a friend before you allow your child to, and see if they add you. If they don’t, don’t let your child add them either.

4)Watch mobile technology use. Limiting the amount of time you allow your child on their mobile device may decrease the chances of an incident. Check their browsing history on both desktops and mobile tablets and phones, etc. to see where they have been online. Tell them you are going to check their activity and limit the amount of time they are online.

5) Communicate with your child frequently about internet safety. Being aware of the dangers if 95% of the battle. You want your child to feel comfortable using the new technologies, but not careless. Teach them that there are dangers to be aware of, just as there are in the real world. If they act responsibly and report any irregularities to you, reward them.

These steps should go a long way toward preventing a problem if you decide to allow your child to use social media and help keep them safe online.

Adam Schults is a professional blogger that discusses various legal topics. He writes for Musca Law, a leading law firm in Florida.
Published by IzajAhmed Shaikh.
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I am, Mr. IzajAhmed Shaikh, Computer Professional, and Pro. Blogger, who belongs to Shahabad, Karnataka India. My basic Qualifications are B.Sc., and M.C.M. done from University of Pune, formerly known as, Poona University, also like to write articles based on my personal experiences.