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Children’s natural development includes the need to break away from their families as they seek independence. Please, share your wisdom with us by leaving a comment below.
Tragically, there are no end of online venues that have the look and feel of sanctuaries where it’s safe to do that in the presence of peers. If you want to learn more about privacy and security threats on the social network and elsewhere on the internet, join the Sophos Facebook page.
It’s crucial to somehow get through to them that those sanctuaries can be smoke and mirrors, and that those supposed peers can all too easily be dangerous predators. Follow @Lisa Vaas I've been writing about technology, careers, science and health since 1995.
I rose to the lofty heights of Executive Editor for e WEEK, popped out with the 2008 crash, joined the freelancer economy, and am still writing for my beloved peeps at places like Sophos's Naked Security, CIO Mag, Computer World, PC Mag, IT Expert Voice, Software Quality Connection, Time, and the US and British editions of HP's Input/Output.
Last year, after noticing minors using its service, Skout put together a separate service for 13- to 17-year-olds with safety features such as parental controls.
In addition, Skout devoted a quarter of its staff to monitoring activity to flag nudity, and to check chats for inappropriate sexual messages, profanity, spamming, copyright infringement and violent behavior.
And while Facebook limits how visible children are to its adult users – minors don’t show up in public searches, only friends can chat with them, and only friends’ friends can send them messages – children are all too capable of lying about their age and pretending to be adults.The converse is true: adults can lie about their birth dates and pretend to be minors.One example can be found in Skout, a location-based social networking mobile app and website that in June barred minors from using its service, following three separate incidents in which children were allegedly sexually assaulted by adults posing as teenagers.There’s no lack of security to protect against the type of age falsification that creates problems on Facebook and sites such as Skout.Reuters pointed to one such provider, Aristotle International Inc., which offers methods such as having a parent vouch for a child with a token credit card payment. The downsides of such technology: it bleeds away sites’ profits because it costs money, and it drives away children who crave unfettered freedom of communication.
The conversation was automatically flagged for Facebook employees, who read it and quickly notified the police.