Facebook Teaches Cyber Safety In Sussex County - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Facebook Teaches Cyber Safety In Sussex County

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Courtesy Facebook Courtesy Facebook

SUSSEX CO., Del. - If you're a parent, the fear that your child could become a victim is very real, which is why Facebook is going beyond the cyber realm, sending representatives to reach out to parents.

Brooke Obenwetter, Associate Manager of External Affairs for Facebook travels the country for Facebook's safety road show program talking to parents, teacher, kids, law enforcement, and anyone who will listen, about how to stay safe on Facebook.

 One tip is to make sure kids are using their real name and age on Facebook.  It's illegal for anyone under 13 years-old to have an account, but there are a number of younger kids creating profiles, sometimes with their parents' help, but Obenwetter says this isn't a good idea for a number of reasons.  There are a number of safety measures put in place to keep age-inappropriate advertisements away and maintain the privacy of the younger users.

"If that child is 11 and lies and sets up a Facebook account that says they're 16 or 17, by the time they're actually 13 or 14, those protections actually won't be protecting them anymore," said Obenwetter.  

Another tip is for parents to not only have Facebook profiles, but to actively use, and become comfortable with them.  Obenwetter said "it's great for parents to actually be on Facebook so they know what their kids are talking about," and Karen Blakely, mother of two teens agrees.

"That's why I do keep track of Facebook, because I want to see what they're saying that they don't necessarily tell me."

But Facebook realizes not all kids are willing to friend their parents on Facebook, so they suggest

"A good strategy is to maybe not have mom or dad necessarily be peering in on everything that is going on, but have some trusted adult and say 'That's sort of the rules of the road in our family.  You don't have to be friends with mom and dad, but you're going to be friends with Aunt Brooke or Uncle Jason to make sure there's some adult who has access to your page and can see what's going on."

One tip that transcends the digital world is for parents and kids to keep the lines of communication open.

"I find that teenagers don't always...they offer a little too much information...so I'm always concerned about what they're putting out there," said Karen Blakely, "we do a lot of talking with our girls about what's appropriate and what's not appropriate."

For more information on how to stay safe on Facebook, visit www.facebook.com/safety

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