A Very Public Privacy

Internet Security News

Facebook for the Young

So it’s been well documented that the 17-year-old Ashleigh Hall was killed when she met a 33-year-old man from Facebook who she believed was 16.  It’s a relatively local story for me, and most of the people who will read this as well, because it only happened a few miles away.

Now, I know that 17 isn’t really that young in terms of the Facebook demographic.  Many people much younger than 17 use Facebook. I won’t lie and say this doesn’t concern me.  I used to know someone who’s younger siblings used Facebook aged 9 and shockingly, 5.  I am not judging anyone’s parenting skills but i think 9 is far, far too young to use Facebook and 5, ridiculously so. The mother of these kids was well aware of their participation on the social networking site.

But, does it have to be this way?  These days kids seem to be born with the ability to operate a computer so I wonder whether or not they should be banned from using social networking sites or just educated in the proper use of them?  I think if the latter was done properly cases like the one of Ashleigh Hall would be severely reduced.

At the moment, the responsibility of teaching children about internet security lies with parents.  My personal opinion is that parents aren’t clued up enough on the dangers of the internet to pass the knowledge on to their children because they didn’t grow up with these dangers themselves.

If I was asked for my opinion I would say that there needs to be a more formal base for children to learn what the should and shouldn’t say to people that they don’t know otherwise cases like Ashleigh hall’s will tragically become more frequent.

Overall,  people need to realize that kids are by nature, naive and will believe someone if they claim to be 16, they need to be taught to suspect everyone online to be not what they seem.

If your reading, please give your opinions on how you would keep kids safe online.  Or if you’re a parent, what measures you take to make sure your kids are aware online.

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March 12, 2010 Posted by | Internet security | Leave a comment