Protect your children from the dangers of social media
by Zeynep Esra İstanbullu
ISTANBULJul 02, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Zeynep Esra İstanbullu
Jul 02, 2015 12:00 am
Social media has become a significant part of our lives. The number of people who are sued, divorced, blackmailed or face other problems because of what they post on social media increases day by day. This raises a larger question as well: Can you protect your children from the dangers they face on social media?
Children have begun spending a lot of their time in front of computers since schools closed for summer. They do not play with their friends or play sports. Communication expert and educator Nurhan Demirel has offered some advice to parents to prevent children from becoming technology addicts, being abused on social media and facing dangerous situations in the dark tunnels of the digital world.
An obese and technologically addicted generation is growing up
There is a serious communication problem between children and parents in Turkey. Today's generation has come into the world with smartphones and tablets. Even children 2 year olds and 3 year olds play with computerized toys. Children spend most of their time in a virtual world in front of computers instead of playing games in the streets with their friends and socializing. Moreover, children are not badly behaved anymore and do not share much with their parents. The danger of raising inactive and obese children who have many problems is growing with each passing day. There are more than 5 million children under the age of 10 who use Facebook, even though the minimum age required to join Facebook is 13. However, children register on the site by lying about their age, opening them up to communicate with the entire world. Parents in Turkey usually do not know what their children do online or how to protect them from the dangers they can face there.
Teach your children how to behave on social media
Children often play games, chat with their friends and share pictures on Facebook. From this point of view, it might seem very innocent. But can Facebook open the gate of a dangerous world for children? Yes, as your children can easily watch extremely obscene videos on Facebook. Do you know what kind of measures you should take if you children meet with people who earn their living in unethical ways or pedophiles that go child-hunting with fake accounts? How are children supposed to protect themselves in an environment where even adults are deceived and cheated? I advise families to become aware of social media and educate their children about the dangers they can face on social media.
How should you protect your children from cyberbullying and the dangers of the digital world?
Be careful while sharing pictures of your children. Do not share all the details of your family life on social media for the safety of your children. Do not share photos of the park in which your children play or the school they attend. Also, do not share pictures showing your children's bare bodies.
- Do not violate the body privacy of your children. Abstain from sharing naked pictures of your children to protect against pedophiles who try to entrap children by using fake accounts. Do not ignore taking this measure thinking your friends list is comprised of only family members. In many cases, a child's abuser is a family member.
- Do not check-in at your house. Abstain from checking-in on social media at your house and sharing pictures taken at your house for the safety of your children and your family. You can become the target of thieves and evil-minded people.
- Do not share the school that your children attend. The success of your children can make you proud, but abstain from sharing the name of your children's school while sharing your happiness because this can make your children vulnerable to danger.
- Become friends with your children on social media. Establish a strong tie with your children and warn them against the dangers they can face on social media. Become aware of what they do during the day and gather some information about their friends. In this way, you can step in before it is too late when things do not go well.
- Family protection filters might not protect your children. Even though many security software companies provide options such as family protection and parental controls, you should be careful against social networks that seem innocent. Such software might prevent children from accessing a site containing inappropriate content, but they do not protect them against digital blackmail, bullying and pedophiles to which they can be exposed on social media.
- Do not allow your children to use Facebook if they are under 13. If your children have a Facebook account, check their profiles and friend lists frequently. Pay attention to which pictures they share and what they write, and educate your children about the dangers they can face on social networking sites.