This is the second installment on a series of posts I am doing. If you missed yesterday’s post, be sure to go down and read that one. Today I want to share with you what you need to know about privacy settings.

Privacy settings are super-important and must be checked regularly! As the parent, you do have control over who can see what on your teen’s wall. It’s not about being over-controlling and suspicious. It’s about being smart and doing your job to protect your kids and equip them to be smart when it comes to internet safety. My suggestion is to make everything “friends only.” I have been on Facebook since 2008 and they make changes and “updates” FREQUENTLY, and many times these changes affect your privacy settings. You can’t be too careful, so check them often.

Here is a link that details Facebook’s privacy settings for minors as of now:

To check your teen’s privacy settings:

Click the arrow next to HOME in upper right corner and from the drop-down menu, go to privacy settings. First, you can set the overall default setting to “Friends”. Then go down to “edit settings” next to “how you connect.” This is how my older teen’s page is set:

• Who can look up your profile by name or contact info? Friends of Friends
• Who can send you friend requests? Friends of Friends
• Who can send you Facebook messages? Friends
• Who can post on your Wall? Friends
• Who can see Wall posts by others on your profile? Friends of Friends

You have the option to make each one of these either: everyone, friends of friends, or just friends. I would suggest not having anything set to everyone for your teen, regardless of whether Facebook says minors are protected. As I said, things change. We will address these settings again in a future post, and I can not stress enough how important it it to get these correct!

On the topic of privacy, one of the prerequisites for my kids was that I have their passwords and can access their FB at anytime. I have heard that some teens are creating a decoy Facebook page for their family members to see, then secretly creating another page with an alias that they actually use. A friend told me she had a teen family member whom she searched for and found she had two pages, one with her real name and one with her middle name that her parents knew nothing about. You have to have another e-mail address to create another page. Beware of that! If you know your teen is on Facebook frequently, yet you see very few posts from their friends and nothing new being posted, you might check into that. Personally, if my child did that, there would be no more access to technology – but that’s just me! People that have nothing to hide, hide nothing. If your teen is hiding their Facebook page from you, there is probably a reason and it’s your job to find out!

Coming Monday: Training your teen to understand how to use Facebook appropriately and recognize fraud.

Have a blessed weekend and please share with your friends!