A Parents' Guide to Facebook

I recently researched the topic of Identity Theft, and discovered that it is not only the fastest growing white collar crime in America it has a very alarming aspect to it. A recent study on Child Identity Theft looked at identity theft scams of over 40,000 U.S. children and discovered that children's social security numbers were being used by someone else at a 51% higher rate than the adults in the study. Considering that a child's identity is a blank slate, and the probability of discovery is low, as the child will not be using it for a long period of time, parents typically don't monitor their children's identities. If you are interested in the identity theft webinar class let the office know.

Social media has become a component of our lives. Keeping up with all that is out in the cyber world for our kids to venture into can be overwhelming. A wonderful resource I'd like you to be aware of is "A Parents' Guide to Facebook (PDF)" by Anne Collier and Larry Magid, co-directors of ConnectSafely.org. They have granted us permission to post their guide on our website. Please take a few minutes to look at it. Print off a copy and walk through the guide to ensure that your kids Facebook activities are safe. (I believe you'll better understand how to use Facebook yourself, from taking the time to read this guide)

Is Facebook safe? We know that kids use Facebook completely differently than adults do. .. Which is why the number 1 safety tip for parents is to "talk with your child" about how they use Facebook.

Scams, span, phishing and social engineering... Facebook itself is relatively secure but scam artists who target people on Facebook just as they do in email and on other sites. A little critical thinking can go a long way as we are more intentional in what is posted and what should not be shared.

Mary M. Martin