With an ever increasing use of social networks and technology by a rising generation that has never seen the days when mobile devices did not exist, comes an increase in the risk of children falling prey to other’s evil designs. We must prepare our children for this mine field, that is social networking, and protect them from people and things that are not always as they seem. Social networking sites have given rise to undesirable character traits in teens such as narcissism, bullying, risk-taking and power seeking. Social networks have also led to increases in stalking, blackmail, and people trying to take avenge of each other.
Adolescence can be a hard time in many peoples’ lives, trying to discover who they are. For many teens this time of self discovery is not plagued with thoughts of online security. Facebook is the site that most teens interact on and many have a public account which leaves them open to advertising companies, predators and people up to no good. According to Pew Internet and American life project, 93% of teens between the ages of 12-17 are on Facebook as their number one social networking site. In a survey from Pew Internet Research it states that 43% of teens have been contacted by people they did not know and 17% of them have become “friends” with people they have never met. Having public sites leaves teens’ information easier to collect and to some so unfavorable outcomes. First the information can be used by a stranger to stalk them or cyber bully them. A stranger can steal their identity and commit a crime. They may be bothered by unwanted inappropriate advertisements on Facebook and email (Teens’ concern for privacy when using social networking sites: An analysis of socialization agents and relation...
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... the Role of Parents and Peers in Young Adolescents’ Risk Taking on Social Networking Sites). Have your own social networking sites and be “friends” with your child is another way you can watch out for them on social networking sites. It will also help you to know who their friends are and what they talk about. You will be able to see what they are posting and what others are posting to them. Limit the amount of time your child can be on social networking sites and talk to your children about the dangers of sharing too much. Remind them that not everyone on the internet has their best interest at heart. Your children may find you overbearing and the “un-cool” parent but if you love your child, you will have to be this kind of parent to protect them. Keeping track of your child on their social networking sites may help you to see any problems that might arise.
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