There are typically two approaches taken to managing online risks for younger internet users: the first is to install firewalls, filters or spyware on your computer or network that block certain sites, and the other is to educate kids about how to keep personal information private, about how to deal with cyberbullying, and about how to act appropriately (and legally!) online. But there is a third thing we could be doing more effectively, and that is to teach kids to manage the sites they use.
Most social networking sites come with different privacy settings and also support ways of controlling personal information. But in order to teach a student how to manage their profiles and accounts on social networking sites, teachers themselves need to have an understanding of how permissions and settings work on these sites. Here are some things social networking services often allow you to do to manage your site and your profile:
- Decide who can view your profile: everyone or just ‘friends’?
- Block certain users
- Restrict who can share your photos
- Filter out spam using CAPTCHAs or a similar ‘are you human’ images or text
- Choose who sends you friends requests, notifications, mobile alerts or invitations
- Approve comments before they are posted on your profile page
- Control the data your social networking site shares with third-party sites
- Control who can see your contact information