Parents: What You Need to Know About Social Networking Websites

Are you the parent of a teenager?  If you are, there is a good chance that your child is interested in using social networking websites, like MySpace, if they don’t already.  Although these websites are a nice way to stay in contact with friends, especially those who may have moved away, they can also be dangerous.  That is why, as a parent, you should learn as much as you can about popular social networking websites.

It is first important to know that social networking websites, especially MySpace, are popular.  Even if you think that your teenager isn’t using them, they may be.  This is because most high school and junior high school students think that social networking websites, like MySpace, are “cool.”  In fact, MySpace and other similar websites are hot topics that are discussed in many schools across the country.

As popular as social networking websites are, it is important to also know that they can be dangerous.  This doesn’t, however, mean that you automatically have to ban your child from using them.  As the parent, you have the right to control which websites your child visits in your home and on your computer, but knowledge is key.  If your child knows the dangers that lurk on social networking websites, they are better able to protect themselves and use social networking websites as they were meant to be used, to easily and safely communicate with friends.

What you also need to know about social networking websites is that just about anyone can read what your child posts online.  That is why children, typically those under the age of 18, should have their profiles set to private.  This way, only those who are accepted as their friends can see what they have posted.  Otherwise, your teenager daughter may innocently post a picture from last summer’s pool party and a child predator could get the wrong impression or want to target your daughter just because of that otherwise innocent photo they were able to view.

Speaking of internet predators, they have been known to target social networking websites.  What is so concerning about this is that many teens and their parents don’t realize that they are dealing with an internet predator until it becomes too late.  Just because an internet user has a profile and pictures that make them look like a 15 year old boy or girl, it doesn’t mean that they are the same age as your child.  In fact, they could even be a registered sex offender.

As it was previously stated, pictures or videos that a child posts on their MySpace page or the page of another social networking profile can be viewed and misinterpreted by others.  There are also other dangers associated with posting personal pictures and videos.  As cool as your teenager may think it is to have a picture or video of them doing a prank or drinking, it could land them into a lot of trouble.  Many schools and police departments are starting to use MySpace and other social networking websites to their advantage. Your teen may find themselves in trouble with the law, suspended from school, or suspended from their extra curricular activities.

It is also important to know that some social networking websites make it easy for your child’s real identity to be discovered.  This could lead to someone showing up at your door, stalking your child, sending them letters, or even calling your home.  For example, MySpace posts your location online, which often includes your city and state.  There is also a spot where your child can enter in what school they attend.  Combine this with a picture and your teen can easily become a target.

As previously stated, social networking websites can be dangerous, but that danger decreases when your child is aware of it.  Ways that you can protect your child involve having them set all social networking profiles to private. Establish rules about accepting new online friends.  You will also want to view your child’s profile from time to time.  Are any personal pictures or videos posted?  If so, you may want to have your child remove them. Also, make sure that no personal information, including full name, address, phone number, and school name, is divulged.

 

 

 

18 thoughts on “Parents: What You Need to Know About Social Networking Websites

  • March 7, 2019 at 5:26 pm
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    Online world is very helpful but its very dangerous too. Socialization is a huge part now a days for kids. but yes parents must need to know about their kids social activities. Thanks for sharing such great info.

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  • March 7, 2019 at 6:40 pm
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    Very informative post, thanks for sharing! I have three littles and will definitely be monitoring them and doing everything I can to keep them safe when it comes to social media when they get older.

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  • March 9, 2019 at 12:01 pm
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    My grandchildren are approaching the teen years and this is definitely a concern and we have had conversations about online safety.

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  • March 13, 2019 at 1:16 pm
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    My daughters are too young to use the internet, although they are just discovering YouTube. I know how easy it is to meet people online, as I met my husband online. Today, we’ve been married for 8 years. I will certainly be monitoring my children’s internet use as they become of age.

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  • March 14, 2019 at 10:02 pm
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    My younger grandkids sometimes get mad at me, because I am always asking and checking what they are doing online. I know there are software apps, like Cujo, etc. that help “guard” your network, but even they can only do so much. I have always said that knowledge is power! I have talked with my grandkids about Stranger Danger online. I want them to know this is NOT a game!

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  • March 15, 2019 at 9:58 pm
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    I think these social sites make it to easy for predators to find there victims, Even when you put as much
    spyware and block out as much as you can , it seem like people still can find things out, One really has to be extra careful!.
    @tisonlyme143

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  • March 16, 2019 at 11:48 am
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    All my kids are grown, but this is wonderful information for parents. Social networking websites can be dangerous and you should stress to your child how dangerous they can be.

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  • March 17, 2019 at 11:57 pm
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    These are great tips. Parents have to watch their kids because preditors know how to get the kids

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  • March 18, 2019 at 4:08 am
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    This is so scary. I am glad we did not have to deal with it when we were younger, but I am so afraid for the kids today. They just have no idea how scary it can be.

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  • March 18, 2019 at 4:43 pm
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    It is some scary stuff. I didn’t let my son have any social media until he was 14…which I still feel is a little young but I can mask him from it forever.

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  • March 19, 2019 at 9:10 pm
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    The internet can be scary sometimes. This is a great article!

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  • March 20, 2019 at 6:40 am
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    I’m so glad to see you posting this! I went over all of this with my girls when they were teenagers, but I feel that even some adults really don’t realize the dangers of social media, so I’m glad to see you putting it out there! Very informative post!

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  • March 20, 2019 at 4:04 pm
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    I cannot believe how dangerous social media has become with so many people that are bullying and taking advantage of others.

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  • March 20, 2019 at 5:20 pm
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    Thanks for sharing this information good to know

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  • March 20, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    I constantly tell my daughter who is 17 to be careful, you just never know. And now that my grandsons are 8 and 9 and showing interest in the internet I am trying to educate them too. Good post!

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  • March 20, 2019 at 10:14 pm
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    It was almost like a full time job trying to really monitor all the social sites. But it is so important to be aware. Thanks for this information!

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  • March 21, 2019 at 6:48 am
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    This information about social networking websites is very helpful. Thanks for sharing!

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  • March 27, 2019 at 8:32 pm
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    I worry about this type of thing with my teen daughter. Thanks for the great info..

    Reply

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