Social networking sites and potential problems that prey on children such as online predators, identity thieves etc are obviously a cause for concern for parents. However in spite of the many dangers that lurk online, it has been seen that parents fail to provide proper supervision for their kids on Facebook and other social networking sites, according to a recent report.
A lot of different software programs offer online protection for kids, which we have spoken of before, however this may just not be enough, experts say. If parents think that all they have to do is install the software and then they can rest assured, they would be mistaken.
For one, kids are really techno savvy and are able to handle and decode software programs better than their parents in a lot of cases.
Secondly, to think that a computer program is fool proof or that it has taken into account every possibility is also rather optimistic.
So to think that things are under control because of a software program installed on the computer is rather naïve.
The recently release report actually suggests that many parents may be negligent or downright irresponsible – it is found that as many as 7.5 million Facebook users are actually below the age of 13, which is a clear violation of the terms and rules of the social networking site.
It was also found that these children’s accounts are not supervised by parents and that there are even more problems.
Jeff Fox, technology editor for Consumer Reports magazine has gone on record to say that monitoring software is no substitute for actual parental involvement and that when parents ignore this fact this is tantamount to ignoring basic things like exercise and diet.
It is the truth that kids want to be on Facebook as much as anyone else; after all everyone is on Facebook. However what is also true is that as many as 5 million households in the United States face some form of abuse on this, the most popular social networking site.
Abuse could take the form of identity theft, virus infections, online threats, cyber-bullying and other forms of harassment. As many as a million kids underwent some form of harassment, it was found, but that parents appeared not the be too concerned about this.
So clearly parents need to sit up and take notice, and get involved; speak to their kids about online strangers as much as dangers of strangers one on one. They can no longer absolve themselves of responsibility by purchasing and installing software it would seem.