Frequently Asked Questions about Social Networking

Q- My teen wants to get a Facebook account, but I don't feel they are ready to handle it.  What should I do?

 A - You can monitor their account by asking them to use your email to register so you can keep track of who they friend, what they comment on and when others post on your teen's wall. Also, you can make your own account and add your teen to keep track of what they are doing. It's important to talk about Facebook before signing your teen up.  You need to lay down the law and tell them about how important it is to think before they post, and only add people who they know personally. Tell your teen that having Facebook is a privilege and can be taken away if not used responsibly. 


Q -My daughter isn't allowed to have a Facebook or Twitter but she does go on other sites, how can I assure she is on safe sites? 

A- You could talk to your daughter about the sites and look them up on your own.  Review the privacy policies to ensure your daughter's safety. If you find that your daughter is on a site for which she is too young, you should confront her and ask her to show you how she uses the site, so that you can see if the site is safe to use.  Always check the minimum age for account creation! 

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 Q- My son recently asked for a Twitter account, and I am unsure as what Twitter is and how safe it is. How does Twitter work, and is there a way for parents to monitor their child's account?  

 A - Twitter is a social networking site that limits you to 140 character messages or "tweets" that are viewed by your followers.  Followers don't have to be approved, which means anyone can follow your son. You should create your own twitter account and follow his tweets, or set a twilert account so you can see what your teen is saying on Twitter. Make the account together so you can establish a safe username and discuss some basic rules about not sharing location or personal information. 

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Q - I recently went through my son's browsing history on our computer and saw Facebook multiple times, but he isn't allowed to have an account. How should I handle this? 

A - Definitely handle it calmly and notify your son that he must be at least 13 to register for a Facebook account.  Inform him that even though he might be 13 he still should have gotten your permission and had a discussion in which you both agreed on some basic rules.  It is your choice whether or not to allow him to keep the account , but do talk to him about internet safety and ask him for his email and password so you can view his Facebook pages, to make sure he is friending real friends and posting appropriate things.  

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Q- My daughter's grades have been dropping and she has been spending more time on her Facebook, how can I control the time she spends on Facebook? 

A -  Facebook can distract your teen for minutes to hours.  She might even be addicted. See how much she posts and compare the time she's online to the time she spends doing things offline. You can also have parent controls on your computer to block Facebook after a certain time (additional software), or set some ground rules (e.g., She must finish homework and chores before she can go on the computer.) 

 Q - What is Facebook? 

 A - Facebook is huge free social networking site with millions of users from all around the world, it lets you post pictures, add friends, list your family, and chat with friends. It is designed for ages 13 and older , but 7.5 million kids under 13 have a Facebook account in the US. 


 Q- How do I convince my parents to let me have a Facebook? 

A - You should convince them not by bothering them every second to get you one or saying that you are old enough to get one, it will just prove to them that you aren't mature enough. Try to compromise with them.  Let them have your account name and password, so they can see what you are up to, It's all about how much your parents trust you and how much responsibility you can handle. If your parents don't know much about Facebook, don't take advantage of that.  Educate them so they can understand how it works and they can understand why you want one.  


 Q - Lately I've been seeing my friends post a lot of things about a free laptop or a free tablet with a link to click,can I trust these posts? 

 A - No, this are phishers who are trying to get your account information illegally. Phishing is when someone puts something up on a website or in an email message that is designed to lure someone into providing their account information so the phishing scammers can use the information illegally.   

 Q - I looked at my son's phone and Instagram was open. My son had over four thousand follows and he had personal pictures of our family. What is Instagram and is it safe? 

A - Instagram is a photo sharing application that allows users to pick a photo or take a new one, customize it, and publish their finish result with a small caption. Instagram can be safe is used correctly.  A user can chose the option to make their posts private, which means they must approve a request from someone before that person is able to view their photos. Also, Instagram has blocking and reporting options to block or report an inappropriate user or an inappropriate photo, Instagram does have an age restriction, you must be at least 13 to use it. 

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 Q - My parents just let me have a Facebook and want to monitor it regularly and keep my password, but I'm not okay with it, how can I handle this situation? 

A- I suggest you be honest about how you feel, tell your parents that you don't feel comfortable with them looking at your private conversations with your friends and that you would rather them make their own Facebook and monitor it from there, instead of taking your password and logging in themselves. Also, don't be mean about it, be patient and let your parents contemplate their decision instead of making them make a snap decision.  


 Q - What is Vine, and is it OK for my teanager? 

A- Vine is Twitter’s popular micro-video app that was launched in late January 2013, which let’s people record and share six-second video clips on an endless loop.  It does not filter content, and its Terms of Service cautions about 'Frequent/Intense Sexual Content or Nudity'.  While Vine's Terms do not specify a minimum age, Apple requires users to be 17 years old in order to download the app. 

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