Online Safety Campaign
On the 15th of April, Facebook in partnership with the National Association of Attorney Generals in the US, has launched a new consumer education programme to provide teenagers and parents with tools and tips to manage their privacy and visibility on Facebook.
The campaign consists of a few elements, all of which will be available on the Facebook Safety page
- "Ask the Safety Team Video” series. Over the past few years, we have travelled around the country, teaching educators, parents and teens how to safely use our service. We’ve created a video series from our safety team that answers the questions we’re asked most during these events.
- "What You Can Do to Control Your Information”, a tip sheet that offers the 10 top tools to control your information on Facebook.
- State-specific public service announcements with participating attorneys general and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.
At the moment, resources such as videos are mostly available in English only. For more information, go here
Social networks are being used more and more by
children. Over 20% of 9-12 year olds use Facebook and 38% are using online social
network tools. This raises concerns revolving around the protection of privacy
and private data, cyber bullying, and contact with strangers and exposure to
There are a number of basic recommendations
that help in addressing these issues:
1. Parents should promote a healthy and balanced
lifestyle before focusing on the "technical" aspects about the use of
new technologies and accessing social networks. A healthy life balance in
itself reduces the risks of children being harmed online.
2. Parents and adults should practice what they
preach since many adults themselves spend hours in front of screens and set a
bad example for their children.
3. Parents should also make the most out of
available tools to protect their children from advertising and inappropriate
4. Companies such as online social network
providers should implement "easy fixes" which benefit everyone via
measures such as systematic encryption of private data or a high privacy by
5. Companies should also enhance user control
over privacy features such as the access of applications to phone book contacts
and the likes.
6. Finally, more awareness raising needs to be
done around the features of social networks and how these work in order to
reduce misuse or abuse of these features (for instance, the "like"
button and the spread of spam).
As regards children, they require specific
attention. Children are considered to be vulnerable users and as such, should
be entitled special protection measures online and offline.
Services and products (devices) offered to
children need to be age-appropriate and must be at the forefront of business
concerns. So far, smartphones and tablets have a single interface designed for
adults but used by children.
The role of family organisations, including
COFACE, is not only to lobby companies and public authorities to create a safer
online environment for children but also to educate and raise awareness of both
parents and children on the positive use of new technologies.
Published on 05 Jul 2012
Updated on 30 Apr 2013