Social media monitoring children safety
Tracy Samantha Schmidt, Director of Social Media Strategy at Crain Communications, visits Eyewitness News with what parents need to know to safeguard their child online.
Federal law prohibits minors under 13 from using a social network without a parent's permission. Some networks play it safe by not letting anyone under 13 have access?Facebook is one of those. Others, like Snapchat, have created an app specifically designed for kids under 13. Of course, we know that a lot of kids under 13 still have profiles on social networks. In fact, a 2011 study found that half of parents with a 12-year-old said their kids had profiles on Facebook-even though the terms of service prohibited those kids from having Facebook profiles. There are three main concerns for parents when/if their children are using the social networks. The first and second is safety-both online and in real life. Bullying can happen on these social networks and it's very easy for a child to disclose their physical location, especially on Instagram. The third is the child's online reputation-what comes up in a search result for that child's name. This is especially important when the child begins to apply for jobs and especially for college. The three most popular social networks for pre-teens and teenagers is Snapchat, Instagram and Tumblr. So let's focus on the good security features of each and the risks of each.
It self-distructs within a certain amount of time? as short as 10 seconds or at most 24 hours. This is good for protecting the "online reputation" of an individual, which is especially important as teens begin to think about applying for college. It's also a private network in which you can select who sees your messages. This means you can decide that only your friends and family members see what you're sending. If the child is under 13, you can sign up for SnapKidz?which allows them to use Snapchat's tools to create content but they can't share it with anyone at all. Instead the content is saved to their smartphone.
Someone could theoretically take a screenshot of something your child has posted and then share it with whomever they want. So again, remember that nothing is ever completely private.
Someone could have created a fake account and not be who they say they are. This is a risk with any kind of social network.
Instagram recently made available Instagram Direct in which a user can send one photo to a person or people directly. This keeps it from being captured on search engines and ultimately impacting a child's online reputation.
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