Facebook is somewhat of a walled garden when it comes to setting up safety filters and safe search settings for internet use for your younger aged teens who use Facebook. Facebook is much more than just sharing updates and chatting, it also has apps and games connected with it. Any app or game that kids activate in Facebook bypasses any security software or filtering software you set up to protect your child from online adult content. There are some software applications that can certainly, with your child’s permission, be set up to scan your child’s profile so that you can see what they are doing on Facebook, but even then, it can be hard to monitor apps and games, particularly if you don’t know which apps and games are safe for your child or not.
There are some very worrying apps on Facebook. Some encourage rating other Facebook users as good looking or ugly, or ransoming users by posting things about them, and then asking users for points to release the information like Reveal Me. Some games and apps are clearly intended for adults they include sexual references and other adult themes. And all of them are available for Teens particularly if they are not rated correctly and your Teen has lied about their age on Facebook and has an unrestricted adult account. See here for more information about the benefits of being sure you child has a “minor” account
So What Should You Do?
Check up on your child’s account every now and then, have an agreement with your child to talk to you about new games and apps that they want to use on Facebook, there is a good option now online where you can pre-check the suitability of that app for your child. Many Apple and Google Play apps are also available through Facebook so this rating and scanning software might be very useful for scanning those types of apps beyond Facebook.
Secure.Me has been around since 2009 and according to their CEO Mario Grobholz “has grown to become the no. 1 security app on Facebook with more than 90 Million Facebook profiles scanned to protect the privacy, security and reputation of users of the biggest social network worldwide. In fall 2012, we introduced App Advisor, the world’s first solution to protect users from data-hungry apps. Embodying knowledge about more than 500,000 social apps, App Advisor makes apps’ data access and activities completely transparent for everyone, available as a browser extension and as an iOS app”.
How does it work? And should you use it?
You can do a free search for an app or game that is available through Facebook through the Secure.Me website and have a look at how Secure.Me have rated it. Secure.Me also shows why they have concerns about it if it has a less than favourable rating, and then you can decide with some surety weather you want your child to install that app.
With Secure.Me you can also put your and your own and your child’s Facebook log in details into the software and have it scan your profiles to see how secure and private your profiles are. It also shows you posts on your timeline that have swear words on them or negative slants. This can certainly help you and your family to clean up your Facebook profiles and make them more presentable, secure and private.
Secure.Me also has an add on that you can add to your browser. I added to my Safari browser, but when trying to add it to the latest update of Firefox it didn’t work. The add on, works when you log into Facebook if you then go to add a new app, it tells you what the rating is for that app.
The ratings on Secure.Me are set by the company but also include user ratings. So users can also rate the the apps for privacy and security and trust.
Who Is Secure.Me?
Secure.Me, has recently been brought by respected anti virus company AVAST recently and Secure.Me’s CEO & Founder Mario Grobholz, posted the below post announcing the deal.
Privacy and Internet Security Protection Get Married – Our Vision Has Come True
“Posted by Mario Grobholz | May 2, 2013
I couldn’t be more thrilled to share the news that as of today, secure.me has joined AVAST Software, maker of the world’s most popular antivirus.
When Christian and I started our business together, it was our vision to bring privacy protection to the forefront of the IT security industry and that the two – privacy and security – will ultimately blend: Whereas antivirus software protects the user’s valuable data on a device, personal data protection solutions are needed to secure sensitive data in the cloud, on social networks, in apps, and on the Web.
I am overwhelmed that our vision has reached its destination, the deal with AVAST is the most crucial milestone in our company’s history. This new set up will allow us to design security for the user to protect their data independent from which device is utilized and from where it is being accessed from. Our mission will remain the same: We will continue our dedication to provide a safe and carefree online experience for everyone; we can now do this at a much wider scale, with even more power and at a higher speed.” You can read the rest Here:
Some of the Apps I tried scanning for included.
Skout – Poor Reputation
Farmville 2 – Poor Reputation
Petville – Very High Reputation
Get Revealed – Poor Reputation
Pinterest – High Reputation
Zoosk – Very Poor Reputation
Instagram – Very High Reputation
App Developers Need To Clean Up Their Act!
I’m constantly asked by parents how they can find out which apps are safe for their kids, if this app progresses to the stage of also expanding to other software and iTunes and Google Play apps, it might be an excellent way for parent to really find out what apps are safe or not and what each app does before allowing their child to use them.
NB: Secure.Me is only a guide and parents still need to look at each app, would be advisable to try it out for themselves and allways supervise your children using apps and online platforms.
I’m certainly going to be using it from now on! What about you?
(this is not a sponsored post)