Help, my child is on Facebook !

Often I get the question : “What is your view on online privacy with all those social networks invading it ?”. Well, in short I usually answer it with : “Dangerous if you don’t know how to use it. Easy,awesome and interesting when used correctly.” I will only focus on the dangers, because I think everybody knows how awesome and interesting social networks are when used safe.

Connected with the world

People usually forget they are connected with the internet, by extend to almost the whole world. Internet is rather a dark place. However you should not fear it, but you should travel it with a torch in your hand. How does this relate to Facebook you may ask ? Well, Facebook is connected through the internet, without internet Facebook would not exist. I find it ridiculous how a ten year old can make an account and connect with almost 2 billion people with some clicks on a button. Aight, I hear you, it’s not Facebook’s fault. I agree, but some things must change in society’s view on social networks.

Dark corners of Facebook

Parents should be aware of the dangers a social network can have. Children are the weakest to fall for phishing attacks. Hackers are constantly sharking on children’s forums trying to get login information. A sentence often used “Omg, is this you on this photograph ?! http://www.ishouldneverclickthis.com”, sounds familiar ? Hackers are interested in this information for the sole purpose of selling it to a criminal organization. More specifically, to child traffickers. They use the info from these profiles to generate false passports. Nowadays a Facebook profile is almost a blueprint of someone’s life. This is dangerous in many ways. Not to forget for personal attacks on victims or robbery’s.

Children should be taught how to use social networks. Chances are if you ask children in a classroom : “Who has a Facebook profile ?” that almost everybody puts their fingers up.

I am disgusted

I am disgusted with the educational organization in my country, Belgium. Mainly, we have two kinds of schools. Public state schools and Catholic schools. I was shocked by the latter. They cancelled the IT course and defend it by saying it should be integrated into the other courses. I agree with the fact that it should be integrated in different courses. But I am strongly, STRONGLY recommending to have additional hours of IT course. LEARN CHILDREN TO USE A COMPUTER. What better way to learn children about the dangers on social networks than in schools ? They should know how to safely use a computer in general. Children should not be the victim of a retarded ideology (Yes! I am looking at you, Catholic education).

I simply cannot understand how a society, so entangled with computers, does not educate their children appropriate when it comes to cyber security. *sarcasm* The fact I had to teach my IT teacher what PHP was in my 3th year of secondary school is totally out of the picture. */sarcasm*

It’s our duty

It’s our duty, as a parent, brother, sister, teacher to educate our children. People should understand what impact computers can have in our life. Privacy is a valued thing, that needs, nay demands protection. The era that computers were for the rich is past us. Almost everybody has access to a computer, yet few have an appropriate basic understanding on how to use it safe. Reach out to me with any questions or comments. Please share this idea with other, whoever you think should know this.

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2 comments

  1. Interesting article, but I do not completely agree with your views on IT courses in schools. What are the benefits of giving a random Word file a better layout and structure if you did not write the content yourself? This could easily be integrated in language courses where you have to write essays. In this way, the IT courses can handle other things than Word,Excel and Access, things that show the real beauty of computer science. I understand that “less IT courses” seem frightening, but given the current contents of the IT courses, I actually don’t really care…

    1. Perhaps I did not wrote this article entirely clear or I misread your comment (because it’s late) but I share the same view : “I agree with the fact that it should be integrated in different courses. But I am strongly, STRONGLY recommending to have additional hours of IT course.”

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