Technology -- 10 Ways to Protect Your Family’s Privacy on Social Networking Websites

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Over the last couple of years, social networking websites like Twitter, Facebook, Digg and others have been extremely emerging in popularity.  Most people are enjoying logging on to these sites, but are the users disclosing more than what is necessary?  Are social networking websites safe for your private information?  Does technology give risks to parents, children and family?

Social Networking Defined

Social networking is the 21st century’s trend in communication.  Primarily, social networking is enjoyable to use. It helps people to get in touch with each other via sharing images and videos, chatting with friends and loved ones, and sharing personal information.  All of these are done on-line. Social networking websites perform as on-line community for internet users.  Account owners share common interest once they start socializing on-line.  It involves having access on other members’ profiles and personal information, probably to even personally call them.

Dangers of Social Networking Websites

Inside the home each member of the family, especially children, can become the predator’s targets. Many strangers and stalkers abuse the use of these sites.  Smart predators can save information about different users.  These are the information always uploaded and input by users making them globally available.  They are subject to theft and can be shared and sold by strangers to other people.

Safety Guidelines for Family Members 

1.   Do only what’s comfortable for you.  Feel good and happy with what you’re doing on social networking websites.  Your peers and other people should not force you in any way to do what they do on-line.  If they put their contact numbers, this does not mean you have to put yours as well.

2.   Think many times before deciding to publish your identifying information.  Some of which may include your complete name, contact numbers, address, or card numbers.  If you wish to upload upload images of your school, home or office, make sure they are needed in your profile.

3.   Choose a user name not related to your private information.  “Peternewjersey” or “georgemarch27” would be very risky choices in social networking websites.

4.   Create another email account, one which does not reveal your real name.  Use this in signing up and receiving email messages.  Anytime you decide to stop your connection, it is easy for you to stop using that email account.  You can create your account with Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo Mail.  There are, however, other existing providers you can choose from.  

5.   Always use passwords that are strong. It is highly recommended to use combinations of numbers and letters.  

6.   Always log off each time you leave social networking websites.  Your profile should be kept closed all the time.  Only trusted friends should be allowed to get access to your profile.

7.   Everything that goes on-line will stay on-line.   Avoid unnecessary chatting or publishing images and video clips that are embarrassing.  Keep in mind that once information is published, you can’t hold it back anymore.  You may have deleted it, but older versions still exist on other computers.  In general, any words you don’t want to speak against anyone, never say them on-line.

8.  Don't ignore privacy settings. Learn more to master social networking websites. These are options to restrict unfamiliar persons whose purpose is to access your profile.  Always scrutinize the people you would accept as friends before joining them to your network community.

9.   Be very cautious about phishing (identity theft) scams where strangers lead users to  imitate websites in order to divulge private information like passwords and usernames.

10.  Trust your own judgement. If you think you or your children are being endangered by other online users, report the incident to a police including the social networking websites.  You or your family members could be spared from the hands of people seeking only for prey. 


Social networking websites have the “friends of friends” feature.  After sharing your peculiar information, you can regularly communicate within a community or across the world.  While your circle of friends becomes larger, family members will also increase publicity to strangers.  These are people who have other intentions. 

There are always stalkers around the web who steal information and identity.  Children, parents and everyone are vulnerable to this condition.  For wise advice, take into consideration the above guidelines.  They will help you enjoy activities on social networking websites, and avoid some of the risks of technology.


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Technology -- 10 Ways to Protect Your Family’s Privacy on Social Networking Websites  is  a post on  Modern Parenting Tips: Styles & Approach to Train & Discipline Children

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