As Facebook’s popularity continues to grow, it’s important that users are ever vigilant about protecting both their privacy, and the safety of their family members – especially minors.
You might be surprised to hear how many youngsters are on Facebook. Of the 20 million users under 18 years of age, 7.5 million were younger than 13 and not even allowed on the site.
Also, Consumer Reports says one million children were harassed, threatened, or otherwise bullied on Facebook in the past year.
Companies are catching on that keeping Facebook profiles safe is big business, and more software is being created to help scan the content and friends lists of users to make sure information isn’t getting out to the wrong people.
FriendChecker, a software program that, for a small monthly fee, will regularly compare your friend list with databases of criminal and sexual predators.
This isn’t just good for minors – parents can use this service as well. I mean, who wouldn’t want to find out if their friends are perverts? For just $4.95, it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.
“FriendChecker notifies the user if a friend is a match with known criminals or sexual predators and provides additional background details on demand,” said Jerry M. Klein, CEO of the company behind FriendChecker, HD Publishing Group, according to a press release.
Another service aimed at protecting minors is called MinorMonitor. It’s a free service by Infoglide Software, which is the technology behind the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Screening program.
The service allows parents to get a quick dashboard view of their children’s Facebook activity and friends.
The software analyzes wall posts, photos, videos, messages and more content to alert parents about anything that looks to be about cyberbullying, drug use, sexual references or other potentially dangerous activity.
It will also monitor new Facebook friends and identify anyone that could be suspicious. Parents can sign up for real-time email alerts to stay on top of their kids at all times.
Readers, have you tried using an application for monitoring children’s safety on social media, and if so, how did it work out for you?