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Jim Huggins
May 7th, 2009
08:08 am
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help with Facebook for teens?
I have friends with a teenager who wants to get started with the whole Facebook thing.  They're concerned about the privacy aspects ... basically, they're not sure that their child understands the whole "don't tell everyone in the world your most intimate details" stuff.

(Let me note for the record that these are good people who aren't overreacting; they aren't one of those "OMG THE INTERWEBZ ARE EVIL" couples.  They're technically savvy, but like most people in my generation, they're not social media geeks.  Their concern is at an appropriate level for parents of teens.)

Anyways ... are there any good online resources for explaining what is and isn't appropriate for teens on Facebook (e.g. what values to use for  the zillions of privacy control settings)?  If you'll post your favorite links here, I'll be happy to pass them along.

Current Mood: curiouscurious

(4 comments | Leave a comment)

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Date:May 7th, 2009 12:36 pm (UTC)
There's this site, which has some good suggestions...

Sophos also has a series of pages that begins here:

And if Sophos has one for Facebook, they're likely to have one for Myspace as well.

Other than that, my police friends pretty much say it boils down to two rules...lock everything down so only your friends can see it, and make sure you know who your friends are.
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Date:May 7th, 2009 12:38 pm (UTC)
Many thanks. I'll take a look.
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Date:May 7th, 2009 02:27 pm (UTC)
Have them talk to their child and ask the child what s/he would be willing to tell a stranger right after meeting him or her. If the kid would walk up to a random person and give them their phone number, there's something more fundamentally wrong that would have to be addressed first.

Basically, just have the teen think about what s/he would be willing to tell a perfect stranger right off the bat; things like birthday (not year), favorite color, and if they own any pets are fairly innocuous. Then modify Facebook's privacy settings to match that. If they aren't comfortable talking to strangers, then just have them lock down the profile completely unless someone is a friend or in a friend's network.
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Date:May 7th, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC)
Generally, that's useful ... but that presumes that RL privacy issues are well understood as well. In this case, that isn't (yet) the case. The person in question doesn't realize the implications of that level of personal revelation ... in real life or virtual life.
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