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The dangers of kids on Facebook

        

Social media websites are here to stay, and probably the most popular among them is Facebook. There are many benefits to the site, as it allows people to catch up with old friends and see what distant family members are up to. However, there are some downsides, especially when it comes to children using the popular website.

Many isssues have developed with Facebook, including cyberbullying, compromised personal information and inappropriate behavior. Many parents struggle with when they should allow their child to log on to the site in order to protect them from these risks.

According to WTHR-TV, federal guidelines suggest that a child has to be 13 years old in order to access the social media site, but some wonder if that is still too young. Parents may opt to purchase parental control software so they can see exactly what their child is doing online, while some use other techniques.

“If they were going to do it, we needed to be privy to everything they were doing,” parent Chris Harrell told the news source. “So one of the requirements was that we have access to their page and they friend us.”

However, a recent study says that “friending” a child is not enough. According to a study conducted by comScore, NPD and SocialShield, the majority of parents are unaware of exactly what is going on with their child and the social media site, WebProNews reports.

“Unfortunately, the monitoring techniques that most parents think are good enough to help keep their kids safe, are often not good enough,” SocialShield CEO George Garrick said in a statement. “There is simply too much content being created by our kids and their peers – not to mention predators – for parents to keep track of without help. We expect this situation to only intensify in 2012 as more social networks develop and more kids get involved.”

The study found that only eight percent of parents knew that their child has experienced some form of cyberbullying. The research shows that parents are not aware because their child may be embarrassed about the situation, scared of the backlash from the bullies, fear they will lose computer privileges or nervous they did something wrong, according to the news source. It is important that parents have a good grasp on exactly what is going on, so their children do not experience the repercussions that can come from cyberbullying.

        

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