This page is to give you very basic common sense tips and to show you how to set the privacy settings on Bebo and Facebook as these are the most used social networks by children and teenagers. You can find loads of information about online safety aimed at different age groups at the CEOP run site Thinkuknow.co.uk, well worth checking out.
Friends Tip – Don’t approve everyone that asks to be your friend, don’t approve people you do not know. Stick to approving your family and real friends only, strangers are strangers no matter what age they are or say they are.
Location Tip – It’s really best that you don’t give out your location, what school you attend, year you’re in and so on. It's easy to give out far too much information, so it’s best you know who your Bebo friends are.
Photo Tip – Any photo you post online can be taken and used by anyone without your permission. Be sure you really want to post that image of you in a bikini/swimsuit or that funny photo where you dressed up. Harmless photos for friends and family to see, but what if someone printed it off, then handed it out around school? Think about what you want and don't others you don’t know that well to see online.
Additional Tip For Parents – I personally would make it a condition that my son/daughter had me as the parent listed as a friend in their profile so I could easily check what information they are posting online via Bebo. Some people will see that as a privacy invasion, so have to go with whatever view you as a family hold.
Bebo Privacy Settings Guide
Bebo have a pretty good online safety page so view the video’s here, as no point in me repeating the same advice. Check out the Bebo safety videos, here.
Ok let’s start by saying Bebo is meant for folk who are 13 years or older, but of course there are hundreds of thousands of kids younger than this using Bebo, so if they are going to use it they might as well be safer when they do so.
Bebo Privacy Page Location
After you log on to Bebo (1) select the link in the black bar “settings” and then (2) click the link “Privacy Settings”. See Image below.
Bebo Privacy Page Options
I have made a screen shot of my recommended privacy settings, below but I will take you through each step here also.
Profile Viewable By: My friends only.
Contact Age: You decide the max and min here, personally if you have all the other settings done I wouldn’t bother too much with this one.
Age: (Tick This Box)
Profile Views: (Tick This Box)
Online Now: (Un-Tick This Box)
Member Since: You decide here as it’s doesn’t matter that much.
Searchable: (Un-Tick This Box)
Posting: (Tick This Box)
Review Comments: (Select) Review all comments.
Applications: (Un-Tick This Box)
That is basic steps to setting up your privacy page on Bebo.
Facebook Privacy Settings Guide
This is 2nd in my basic guides to privacy settings on social media sites, the last one covered Bebo Privacy Settings and this one covers Facebook Privacy Settings, it’s aimed as a basic guide to parents that want to know what options they should tick to make the Facebook experience a little more private.
Facebook Privacy Page Location
After you log on to Facebook (1) click the link at the top right hand side called “settings” and then (2) click the link “Privacy Settings”. See Image Below.
Facebook has 2 main privacy pages that you want to select option on (3) is the Profile privacy settings and (4) is the search privacy settings.
Facebook Profile Privacy Page Options
Here is a screen shot of my recommended privacy settings, below. I recommend that you switch every setting on this page to “Only Friends”. You have the option to either allow friends to post on your wall or not, I allow it however it’s up to you if you’re going to allow it or not.
Facebook Search Privacy Page Options
This screen shot is about what people will find via search engines etc and how people discover you on Facebook. To block out all search would make it very hard for you to be found by your real friends, equally you want to control how you’re found and what people see.
Search Discovery: Set search visibility to Only Friends.
Search Results: You can tick all boxes in this section, I personally don’t tick the box what pages I am a fan of, as my friends can see this and reduces the information about you for people who are not your friends.
In addition: Don’t tick any of these boxes unless you really want to be found this way. The options above already ticked will allow your real friends to find you, so no real point to these, adult members might want to be found by people they went to university with or a company they worked but can’t remember their full name etc.
This guide was written by Clarke Duncan a Hillington Parent Council Member. I take no responsibility for anything you do as a result of reading this guide, always use common sense. If you have any doubts about you or your child's safety when using the Internet you should contact the Police or authority who can help. Advice, help and reporting is available via Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).