You must be 13 or over to legally hold a Facebook account.
Nearly a billion people have a Facebook account – that is about one in every 7 people on the planet.
As you get older potential employers and even university admissions staff often Google applicants’ names and check sites such as Facebook and Twitter as virtual references. If they can see your photos or read about your life status updates, what impression of you would they have and is that what you want to portray?
But what trouble has social networking ever caused anyone?
Most people can spend their lives happily updating a status and ‘liking’ photos without any trouble but it is wise to be aware of some of the downsides of social networking.
It is not unheard of for people to have lost their jobs over things said in anger on Facebook and even to be prosecuted for offences such as terrorism – A Doncaster man made a joke about an attack on Robin Hood Airport and was prosecuted and fined £2000.
Here are some things you may want to think about:
- Check your privacy settings. Do you want a potential employer to see all the private aspects of your life?
- Think before you speak your mind and overshare – however tight your privacy settings are, information still spreads and if you are having a moan it is likely to get to the person in question.
- Even if you think something on Facebook is private, if a so called ‘friend’ uses copy and paste functionality then it can be saved. Even if you then delete it, someone can still show the world if they wish to.
- Think carefully about who you befriend on social network sites – do you really know them enough and can you trust them with your personal information?
- Also remember that we live in a close knit community in Lostock Gralam and word spreads, therefore your reputation and personal information reaches people you may not expect.
For your information:
Top 5 Questions Parents Have About Snapchat
1. Why do kids love Snapchat?
They love the spontaneity of it. It’s been (rightfully) drummed into their heads for years that photos and videos you share are on the Web forever and are really hard to take back, so Snapchat’s a relief in a lot of ways. It’s playful and “in the moment” – a nice change from the self-presentation and reputation issues in social media services that display photos and videos indefinitely. They don’t have to worry about some invisible audience.
2. Does Snapchat have a minimum age?
Yes, the minimum age is 13, in compliance with the U.S. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). But, when you download it, Snapchat asks for your date of birth, and – if your birthday indicates you’re under 13 – you’re redirected to the kid version, called “Snapkidz.” Snapkidz users can’t add friends or share anything, and the app doesn’t send any information to the company. Instead, kids’ photos and videos are saved just to their devices’ “camera roll.” But some kids know that means you can take a “Snap” and draw on it in Snapkidz, then share it with friends using another messaging tool, like a texting app, email, Facebook, etc. – or you can just delete Snapkidz and start over with a fictional birth date.
3. What are the risks in using Snapchat?
Though there’s nothing inherently dangerous about Snapchat, early news coverage fairly predictably associated disappearing photos sent on phones with “sexting.” Many assume Snapchat’s biggest draw is the temporary nature of its messages, which encourages people to share racy images without worrying about the repercussions. But most people – including most teens — don’t use Snapchat that way. They use it because it’s fun.
4. What’s the appeal of having your messages disappear in seconds?
Because photos and videos go away and aren’t on display anywhere, there isn’t the reputation anxiety or image-curation fatigue people feel in other services. The ephemeral aspect also adds a degree of safety, as long as people don’t have a false sense of security about it. Images can be saved as screenshots or captured with another phone and shared without the originator’s knowledge. If your Snap gets captured by someone you send it to, Snapchat notifies you, but people have found workarounds for that too. So, as always with digital media, 100% safe sharing doesn’t exist.
Instagram is a popular photo sharing app, mainly used on mobile phones and tablet devices. As well as sharing images with friends, it is possible to comment upon each others images, search for images and message other instagram users. How ever children view instagram, it is a tool for sharing images of themselves and others. Interestingly children seem to have a view that Instagram is ‘for kids’ – in fact it is used predominantly by adults and teenagers. As a result it is relatively easy to come across pictures of a more adult nature including those involving drugs, obsecene gestures or partial nudity. Children must realise that they should not post pictures of or involving other children without first seeking permission (we would suggest at this age that that permission actually needs to come from the parent.) Please see the link below on how to block unwanted ‘friends’ on Instagram.
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