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Feb
8

Imagine your daughter faces a dangerous situation, and rather than call 911, she updates her Facebook status to seek help. When two girls in Australia got lost in a storm water drain, that’s exactly what they did – they posted an update on Facebook

Whether we like it or not, Facebook and other social media tools are becoming THE vehicles our children are using to communicate. It is perpetuated by the world in which they live. Social status is measured by friend counts, schools use these tools to update their students on news and events, and corporate brands like Skittles seduce our kids with special offers found exclusively on their corporate Facebook pages. (Please “Like” Juice. You can do it here).

I thought I was a few steps ahead of my tween children in understanding the dynamics of this media. I use Facebook as a connection tool to stay in touch with a large family and a close network of friends. I decided I would allow this platform to become one more opportunity to stay in tune with my children and let them know I trust them, but I would not allow it to replace the essential one-on-one conversations I know I need to have with them. And so, as long as I was a “friend”, and I received their username and password information, I allowed them to “get creative” about their age to get an account. I set the privacy features to the highest security settings and then I started to cheer them on in their wall posts, much to their embarrassment. But something changed on October 5, 2010, and all security settings in Facebook were re-set to “everyone”, meaning anyone can view almost all information on a Facebook page. I learned this through Chris Vollum , a Facebook “Security” expert who speaks to parents and kids at schools about how to safely play in this field. 

His 90 minute talk was practical, fun and easy-to-understand. If you have children, here are three things you can do now, to make their account more secure:

  1. Go to “Privacy Settings” on their Facebook account and ensure the “Sharing on Facebook” chart is set to “Friends Only” or “Other”. If there are check marks under “Everyone” or “Friends of Friends”, select “Customize Settings” and change the access. Pay extra attention to photos, limiting access to “Friends” only.
  2. Select “View Settings” under “Connecting on Facebook” and limit access by “Everyone”. Again, change the setting to “Friends” in most cases.
  3. Within this area, limit the ability to see a “Friends List” by “Friends” only, and not “Friends of Friends”.

Virtual conversations are a reality in the workplace, and they are becoming a reality in our personal lives. We must remember they are simply tools, and nothing can replace the value of a face-to-face conversation to foster connection – especially with our kids.

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Brady Wilson

Brady Wilson

Co-Founder of Juice Inc, Thought Leader & Author

Alex Somos

Alex Somos

Co-Founder of Juice Inc.

Jean-Francois (JF) Hivon

Jean-Francois (JF) Hivon

Vice President, Business Development

Michael Torrie

Michael Torrie

Business Development, Juice USA

Juice Inc.

Juice Inc.

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Rick Boersma

Rick Boersma

Co-Founder Floworks Training, Design & Innovation