Keeping Kids Safe Online

Last week Mark Zuckerberg founder of Facebook said he thinks children 13 years and younger should be allowed access to social networks. Having worked with teens for years I have to admit I didn’t think that was a particularly shocking statement until I heard some of the responses in the media.

Channel 5’s Wright Stuff was particularly irritating with one panelist saying ‘Why do kids need to talk to each other online? Why can’t they just play outside.’ Sorry but has this man met any 13 year olds lately? Another annoying comment was by Lisa Faulkner who said that because she wasn’t computer savvy she didn’t want her child to use the Internet because she was afraid of what was out there.
Thankfully a range of sane mothers rang in as the voices of reason pointing out the obvious that as parents it’s up to us to get informed about social media sites (and the internet) and then educate our kids about how to use them safely.


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  Why? Well because it can be dangerous and it’s near impossible to stop children and young teens from accessing Facebook on their mobiles, gaming devices and on computers outside of the home.

I know this is the case because my four year old can use my iPhone and knows how to access YouTube and both my 12-year old goddaughters are on Facebook.

Luckily with regards to Facebook (and YouTube I might add) there are strict parental rules behind their admittance to the site. My goddaughters have to be Facebook ‘friends’ with their mothers (thereby allowing their mums to see exactly what they are saying and who they are being friends with). They have to allow their mothers to set their privacy settings and talks about predators and cyber bullying are discussed regularly.

However, with a new study showing 11% of parents do not know what their children get up to online and 54% of UK parents saying there is not enough done to educate families on how to stay safe online perhaps more does need to be done to help us help our kids.

What do you think?


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