Guide to activities for kids online Top social networking tips
Share these tips with your kids and they’ll have a much safer experience when using social networking sites.
1. Keep it private
Your pages may be searched or accessed by people that you don’t know, so it’s best to keep your profile page private. Unsavoury characters could be trawling profiles, trying to initiate contact.
2. Report negative behaviour
You can block troublesome people from leaving messages on your profile, and report any bullies to the website administrators.
They can be tracked down and dealt with, or have their account deleted (this may not solve the root cause of the problem, but it will make the bully lose all the profile data they have built up).
As a first port of call, tell your parents or alert the social network's administrators of the problem - you'll usually find links to 'report this' or 'report abuse'.
3. Use the child safety 'panic button'
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) has directly teamed up with several social networking websites, including Facebook and Bebo, to provide the ClickCeop icon. This is a so-called 'panic button' that children can use to report problems or instances of abuse, which will be followed up by Ceop and the social network concerned.
To report a problem on Bebo, use the ClickCEOP report button - found underneath the main photo on the violator's page.
Facebook users can download the ClickCEOP app via the fan page, which will flag the button on your profile.
4. Think twice before you post information
Remember that even though you may be hiding under a persona, your identity can still be tracked, so think carefully about whether something you post may offend others as it may come back to haunt you.
Even if your profile is private, messages, video and photos your post to other forums or on other people’s profiles may be seen by people you don’t know.
5. Be honest
These sites are designed for those aged 13 and above. If you’re under 18, it’s best to be honest about your age when signing up, otherwise older people may try to contact you.
6. Never list your phone number
It’s not a good idea to list your mobile number on a social networking site (even if only your mates can access your profile).