According to the Center for Media Research, "Most parents in the United States estimate that their children spend about two hours a month on the Internet. In reality, kids and teens are spending upwards of 20 hours a month surfing the Web. Forty-one percent of U.S. teens claim their parents have no idea what they are looking at online. The most popular online activities are online dating (23 percent), social networking (50 percent), and playing games (72 percent)."
Facebook and MySpace, are two popular Internet sites used by children and adults that have become social getaways to chat, blog, post pictures, join groups, and make friends.
With a few clicks of the mouse, people can present their personal information and thoughts for anyone to see. What many people new to the Web do not realize is that there are risks involved and that they need to understand them before they post this kind of information. Teachers, employers, predators, and basically anyone who knows how to use the Internet can go online and find information about you. Ever done a Google search?
It is important to be aware of the risks of social networking in this cyber world we live in. It is important to remember not to post personal information, that no information is truly personal information, and anything you post and delete can still be found.
Sure, many social networks have an age verification required, but it is easy is it to go online and lie about one's identity. Law enforcement agencies now search these social outlets as a way to catch online predators. While realistically this is good, be aware that it is easy for anyone to steal your password, log in, and be you for a day. Understand, teach, protect. Do each of these to create a safe haven for you and your loved ones. The last thing you want to do is share information with the cyber world that you can't take back.
Think before you post.