You may have noticed that infographics have been all the rage the past couple of years. Everyone and his dog has been creating them. And with good reason. We’re visual creatures and they present a tranche of facts, in a colourful and pictorial way, that are easy to grasp and digest.
We received one the other day that certainly opens eyes about Facebook privacy and protection. At first glance some of the information is startling – but on reflection not too surprising.
Try this little nugget: “Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg — who in late 2013 spent an extra $30 million buying four extra nearby homes to maintain his real-life privacy — has in the past openly indicated that “privacy is over” and that if he were starting Facebook anew that user information would be public by default.”
Parental controls for Facebook protection?
A man as rich has Zuckerberg can probably get away with saying that without being censured or grilled by a rabid press pack. However, Facebook has been quick to react to the recent Adobe hack and is requesting users who it suspects may have had their details compromised in the mega hack to jump through security hoops.
But when it comes to protecting youngsters on Facebook parents largely have to rely on the existing safety net, though there may be holes in it. The infographic offers some best practice tips on keeping kids safe and if you haven’t clicked through to the link it’s certainly worth doing so.
Of course Facebook will say that it has an age limit of 13 before you can join the social network. But how many times did you as kid ‘bust’ age limits? It’s part of growing up.
Born to technologize
And today’s kids seem to have a handle on technology at the foetal stage. According to the infographic, Commonsense Media revealed last month that 38% of children in the US under the age of two have used a smartphone or tablet. Perhaps they’ve been checking on their parents?
One of the more disturbing factoids is that children between 10 and 13 make up 22% of the targets of online predators, and there are millions of underage Facebook users.
Our own research into the deep web predator community leaves shivers crawling up the spine. It’s vast sordid netherworld that reveals predators stripped of any pretensions, exposed as people who devote large amounts of time and energy to planning and carrying out their conscienceless and deeply damaging deeds.
Social media protection
Bullguard social media protection aims to at least identity predators when they surface from the deep web onto social media networks such as Facebook, and try to lure their victims. This particular predator tactic is well known and well documented.
The BullGuard social media app is installed on the child’s Facebook account and connects to BullGuard servers. Its device independent and cannot be circumvented without the parent’s being notified.
A bespoke app gathers information from the monitored account and passes it to BullGuard’s servers where it is processed. It flags to parents, potentially suspicious items or behaviour that may otherwise go unnoticed. For example, this can include alerts about messages, status updates, links or newsfeed items with harmful, abusing of inappropriate content. It also provides warnings about private messages from strangers or about newly added friends with no or very few common friends.
Social media networks are by and large great tools for sharing information, communicating, staying in touch and making new friends. Unfortunately, because the rules can easily be subverted, identities can be effortlessly masked, such as the plumber on a dating site who claimed to be an astrophysicist (true), but that’s another story. We wouldn’t let our kids be led off in the park by a stranger, so why shouldn’t we at least remain aware in the parallel social network world?
Posted by Steve Bell