Or.. kids under 13yrs should NOT lie about their age and create adult accounts!
Here’s the dilemma. You or your child under 13yrs decide its ok to have an account on Facebook (against the Terms of Service), but under the age of 13 years old you have to lie about your age to sign up for a Facebook account.
Question: If your child signed up for a Facebook Account when they were under 13yrs old, what date of birth did you, or your child put in to set up the account?
In order for your child to benefit from the extra privacy settings available on Facebook for Teens accounts (aged 13yrs – 18yrs 2000 – 2005) you or your child must choose a date that is within that range. Unfortunately there are a LOT of kids that set up their accounts as if they were over 18yrs and now they have an Adult Facebook Account. I’m sure as responsible parents we would prefer our Teens to have a Facebook account with a few extra security settings that protect their updates from being seen publicly.
If your child has an existing Adult account, you might want to suggest they close down their account and re-join Facebook with a more secure Teen account. Better still, kids under 13yrs should wait to join Facebook until they turn 13yrs as the F.B Terms of service suggests. They risk losing their account anyway if it is reported that they are under 13yrs of age and on Facebook.
So what protections does a Teen account have?
- Although teens will still appear in search results on Facebook, they won’t have public search listings made for them.
- On Teen accounts the “public” setting on Facebook refers to only to friends, friends of friends and verified networks such as schools. Note: Your teen can override that setting in “search for me on Facebook” and “send me friend requests”. Friends of friends and verified networks can still result in an enormous pool of Facebook users to which a child’s profile can be exposed.
It’s not a catch-all solution by any means but it does help a little. You will still need to educate them about privacy and exposure. And work on creating a relationship between you and your child that fosters open conversations about behaviour on the internet and social networks.
Below is the link to more information on the benefits to Teens and parents of having a Teen account rather than an Adult one.