7.5 Million Facebook Users Younger Than 13
Currently there are over 20 million minors that use the massively popular social network, Facebook. A recent study by Consumer Reports shows that 7.5 million of these minors are under the age of thirteen, and 5 million of them are under the age of ten. This is an obvious violation of Facebook’s terms of service, but more children are signing on everyday.
Most of these children are completely unsupervised and too many parents show little to no concern about this problem. These children are being exposed to many different types of threats. Facebook has been the cause of over 4.5 million virus infections throughout the United States. Malware has also reared its ugly head, and cost people somewhere in the neighborhood of 2.3 billion dollars.
These are not the only threats that children face using the popular service. Many children publicly display their phone numbers and physical addresses in their profile, and this puts friends and family at a severe risk to identity theft, virus infections and bullying. Pedophiles have easy access to all of this information as well.
Facebook is also available on most major mobile phones. More and more people are storing sensitive things like financial records, medical records and credit card information on their mobile phones. All of this data is at jeopardy as well.
Parents play an active role in child’s online interactions. Join Facebook and keep a watchful eye over who your child is friends with. You can also choose to have their account deleted for being an underage child. Use privacy controls. With these you can choose how much information is shared to online friends. 1 out of five parents are not using this option.
You can protect you phone as well. Setup a password or a PIN number for your phone. This can secure your sensitive data. If you are downloading APPS for your phone, make sure they come from trusted sources.
As with anything, use common sense to protect yourself and your family.