What should parents do now that teens can go public on Facebook? - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

What should parents do now that teens can go public on Facebook?


Changes to Facebook mean children as young as 13 now can show the world their profiles on the social media site.

Facebook used to make posts for teens between 13 and 17 private, only to be viewed by their Facebook friends. But now, they have the option of making profiles public.

For tips on how to keep children safe, WTOC turned to the Effingham County Sheriff's Office's multi-jurisdictional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

While the Facebook changes may be a game-changer for some parents, investigators who look into online crimes involving children are giving the same advice they have for years -- assume everything posted to Facebook can be viewed by the world. They say its just safer that way. Remember, Facebook friends can always share your status, with their friends and their friends' friends.

The biggest advice the task force has for parents is to monitor everything children do online.

In world where everyone is increasingly accessing the Internet through mobile devices, that can be difficult.

"Kids nowdays are using smart phones," said Effingham County Sheriff's Office Spokesman David Ehsanipoor. "They're using just different kinds of technology. It may not be just the computer in the living room. So parents need to monitor everything their kids are doing on Facebook."

The task force also recommends calling your cell phone provider to find out what limits the company can place on what your teen can do online and on a mobile device.

Your Internet Service provider can set similar limits to what your children do online at home.

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