I heard a very good interview on the ABC “Life Matters” radio program today entitled “Parental Control Of Facebook” about the latest Australian Attorney Generals suggestion to impliment changes to privacy laws to allow parents to have legal access to their children’s Facebook Profiles. In this interview Australian Psychologist Dr Sophie Reid discusses the potential for Facebook to tighten the rules, and whether it’s wise for parents to be monitor their child’s Facebook profile. I urge all parents who are concerned about Cyber Safety, particularly in regards to Facebook to listen to it.
See my own previous response to this Facebook proposal Here!
Australia’s attorneys-general are also now discussing whether Facebook should raise the user age limit from 13+ to 18+ in Australia, which I think is frankly ridiculous. As Dr Sophie Reid also suggests in the above ABC interview, I agree that parents firstly really need to get educated about cyber safety, and children need subsequent support and supervision from their parents, children do not need to be locked away from social networks, even if it were inforcable.
Dr Reid makes some great analogies in the interview about other situations where we, as parents guide our children through other potentially dangerous situations, rather than just banning them, for example, from ever crossing a road, or riding a bike. Dr Reid also points out a very interesting perception that her research showed, that parents are approaching cyber safety concerns from the incorrect premise that the most important safety issue for their children on the internet is predatory approaches from strangers, but her research shows that it is in fact, harassment, bullying and viewing shocking media online that is the far bigger and more common issue for most children today.
Below are some great websites to help parents find out a bit more about their options for Cyber Safety, and to get better educated on what kids are up to online. If you have some other great sites to add, please leave your suggestions in comments and I will be sure to add them!