Top 10 Facebook safety tips

Key speakers at the Facebook for Safer Internet Forum: Janet Mbugua, Dr. Bright Gameli and Mercy Ndegwa.
Facebook in partnership with Watoto Watch Network hosted the Facebook for Safer Internet Forum on On the 14 February 2020. The forum's main aim was to show commitment to online safety in regards to children.

It brought together parents, safety experts and influencers to discuss on better ways to help their children stay safe on social media platforms.

Days prior, the world had celebrated Safer Internet Day (SID), which aimed to unite people globally to inspire and raise awareness on online safety for children and young people.  The theme for the day was “Together for a better Internet.”

“Every day, millions of people across East Africa use Facebook and Instagram to share and connect with their communities."   Facebook’s Head of Public Policy Mercy Ndegwa said at the forum.

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"We recognize the important role we play in creating a safe space, that’s why we offer a range of tools on our platforms to give people full control over their experience, and work with our partners to drive awareness about the practices, resources and tools people can use to protect their online wellbeing,” she added.

Watoto Watch Network Executive Director Lilian Kariuki emphasized on the essence of working together with Facebook to create a safer online environment for children and young people. This, she added, would be achieved by using digital literacy to focus on encouraging young people and their parents to adopt good online safety habits.

Here are the top 10 Facebook safety tips for parents:

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1.Start talking to your children about technology before they join social media. 

Consider following them once they join social media platforms.

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2. Be mindful of age restrictions.

Facebook and Instagram require everyone to be 13 years old before they can create an account.

3. Teach them to think twice before they share online or accept a friend request from a stranger, as you would in real life.

4.  Engaging with your teenager about their favorite social media platform and how it works presents an opportunity for you to talk about issues of safety, privacy and security.

5. Try to be a good role model. If you set time restrictions on when your child can use social media, follow the same rules.

SEE ALSO :Facebook to remove deepfake videos in run-up to 2020 US election

6.Tell them to report if they see something they are concerned about.  There is a link on every Facebook and Instagram post for reporting bullying, harassment and other issues.

7.  Help them to check and manage their privacy settings. Facebook gives people control over what they share, who they share it with, the content they see and experience, and who can contact them. You can help them manage their accounts through using tools and settings.

8.Make it a shared experience

Whether it's taking a photo/film together or adding filters, gaming, doing things that both of you love to do together is a great way of sharing technology together.

9.Identify and seize key moments

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When they are old enough to join Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites, it's a good time to talk about safe sharing.

10.Trust yourself

Typically, you can adopt the same parenting style for your teens's online activities as you do for their offline activities. If you find that your teen responds best to a negotiated agreement, create a contract that you can both sign. Or, maybe your teen just needs to know the basic rules.

Young people can benefit from the following Facebook and Instagram safety tools and resources:

New tools on Instagram that filter comments that may be inappropriate, offensive or bullying -including keyword filtering, sensitivity screens, offensive comment and bullying filters.

On Instagram we've created new ways to help stop bullying before it happens. If someone writes a comment or caption for a feed post that our AI detects as potentially offensive, they will receive a prompt that the language used is similar to language that has been reported for bullying. They will then have an opportunity to edit the caption or comment before posting.

The Instagram Safety Centre is a place where you can learn more about the safety features on Instagram.

The Youth Portal, which is a central place for teens to get a better understanding of Facebook’s products, hear from other peers, and get tips and advice on controlling their experience. This is part of the safety center, a resource for topics like suicide prevention, social resolution and bullying prevention.

Use of artificial intelligence to help identify when someone might be expressing though of suicide, including on Facebook Live and Instagram Live.

"Parents should not be scared of their children using social media but there should be time where they can interact with their kids," online safety expert, Dr Bright Gameli said in an interview.

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