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Children now have access to information on a never-before-seen scale. Children develop sophisticated Web surfing habits at a young age, and a simple Internet search can usually answer most of their questions. Kids can also keep up with what their friends are doing through social media sites like Facebook, even if they are hundreds of miles away.
Is all of this access, however, safe for children? The answer is no, according to Facebook’s safety page. That’s why Facebook has a minimum age requirement for creating a profile. According to the safety page, no one under the age of 13 can create a Facebook account, and they “are not permitted access” at all.
We are familiar with the story of Facebook hacks, online criminal activities, bullying, and many more. Hence, we have to be on the safest side using Facebook.
So is Facebook safe for kids?
This is a point of contention. Some people believe it is perfectly acceptable for children under 13 to use social media sites, while others are adamantly opposed.
It would be beneficial if you first understood the risks and then decided whether or not you want your children to use the site. We obviously cannot condone circumventing Facebook’s age restrictions, so if your children are under the age of 13, the simple answer is that they should not have an account at all.
The dangers for those aged 13 and up can be subtle. Online bullying is the most visible, but it only affects a small percentage of people.
Because you won’t be able to access their account without their password, you won’t know what your child is posting, which friends they’ve added, or whether they’ve set acceptable privacy options so that what they post is visible only to their friends.
Grooming is another obvious danger. Pedophiles can impersonate other children, and you can’t be sure that they’re only communicating with kids they know if you don’t know who they’re friends with.
The more subtle risks are that Facebook tends to cause people to create and maintain their image, even if they aren’t aware of it. The constant social competition can make children feel inadequate and even worse. So, Facebook doesn’t seem suitable for children until parental control occurs.
What are the potential dangers of Facebook on kids?
Bullying is one of the most common social issues children face when using the Internet. Bullies believe that no one can punish them for inflicting harm on their peers, so they bully them even more than they do in real life.
Facebook appears to be an ideal venue for cyberbullying. Offenders can leave derogatory comments on other people’s posts or harass them in private messages. Some children become the target of Facebook bullying regularly, and it can get worse as young as 14 years old.
Sexting on Facebook is a significant issue among teenagers, and it’s a method of disseminating sexually explicit material to others. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of teenagers are aware of the potential consequences.
Although teenagers can send nudes to each other for fun, their photos may end over the Internet. A recipient of a private message might think it’s amusing to share it with others, and it can result in embarrassment in public, depression, bullying, or social isolation.
Furthermore, predators posing as peers can sext with teenagers. As a result, they may become sexually exploited.
Pedophiles are well-known for identifying shy or abandoned children and abusing them. Few people are aware, however, that abusers can groom your child even if you are both at home. This is called online predatory behavior.
According to FBI reports, the Internet is home to over 500,000 online predators. Many of them use Facebook to try to entice children into their trap. Pretending to be teenagers online, they attempt to make friends with your child. They don’t have to act in most cases, though as more children use Facebook to communicate with strangers, the chances of being groomed rise.
Unfortunately, identifying an online predator is nearly impossible unless you use a parental control app.
Psychologists found that kids who constantly communicate on Facebook have difficulties with real-life communication. The Messenger Kids app can help protect kids from being scammed or bullied online.
Children are vulnerable to the security risks of using Facebook because they tend to overshare personal information online.
They may fall prey to online scammers looking to steal their identities. Cybercriminals can use children’s trust to steal credit card information via phishing scam messages and links.
When children click on the tainted link, scammers obtain their Facebook login credentials and provide them to thieves so they can steal their credit card information.
How Can I Keep My Child From Getting Into Facebook Trouble?
If you’re wondering, “Is Facebook safe for my child?” We have some advice for you. Even though this social media platform is deemed safe for children and adults, children are still at risk.
Young people are forced to be hooked by catfishers, duped by scammers, or abused by predators, as stated earlier in this article. Parents are advised to use a parental control app to prevent their children from getting into trouble on Facebook.
To conclude, children are vulnerable to Facebook if they are left free. So, parents have to monitor them while using social sites. The best way to do this is to use parental control apps to track who they are communicating with and monitor online threats.