Category Archives: Safety

Tips on Tuesday

Today I am going to visit the current rumours on Facebook surrounding a wide scale hacking of accounts.

Facebook Aire Media Blog

You might have seen on your timeline a number of posts like this: –

All the accounts are being hacked. The profile picture and your name are used to create a new Facebook account. Then they want your friends to add them, your friends think it’s you and accept. From this moment, the pirates can write what they want under your name!! ….. Please do not accept a 2nd invitation from me!! Copy this message on your wall to warn your friends!
Do not share. Make a copy and paste this message.
Just in case, protect your accounts!.

For once, unlike many of these viral warnings, it seems there is some element of genuine risk.  However, to put it into context.  Firstly accounts aren’t being hacked, no-one is entering your account on Facebook, they are copying your profile picture and creating a new account – so in effect cloning you.   Secondly, the level of occurence is in dispute, there is certainly no suggestion currently that it is all the accounts on Facebook.

So, what can you do to avoid this happening? 

  1.  Keep your account privacy settings high – my personal account is locked down so that if you searched my name, I wouldn’t appear at all.
  2.  Keep your friends list hidden – this means that if people do find your profile, they cannot see who you’re friends with apart from mutual friends.
  3. There is no harm in putting a basic warning on your Timeline, along the lines of “I only have one Facebook account, please do not accept another friend request from me”.  I would recommend rather than sharing/copying and pasting a viral post, simply post a warning.  Viral content is too easily ignored.
  4. Although this isn’t a hacking attempt, it is important to change your Facebook password regularly.


Tips on Tuesday

A slightly different format to our usual Tips on Tuesday slot as today is Safer Internet Day.  The safety of young people on the internet is one of our passions at Aire Media – in fact, we launched with a post about helping parents make sure their children are using Social media safely – so we thought we would #shareaheart with the wonderful people at the UK Safer Internet Centre and share our top tips for young people to stay safe online.

Safer Internet Day Aire Media

  1.  Never reveal your passwords to other people.  Choose a password that is really strong by using a mix of letters and numbers.  Make sure you change them regularly.
  2. Make sure you think before you post.   Never post anything you wouldn’t want your parents or teachers to read.  As soon as you press send, the information/image is no longer private.
  3. Be kind.  If you think your post could upset someone, don’t post it.
  4. Be really careful about what you share online.  Don’t give clues about where you live in either the information or the images you post. 
  5. Make sure you check your privacy settings regularly.  Bear in mind that you might think you’re only sharing something amongst close friends, but that isn’t always the case.
  6. Be careful who you talk to online.  If someone you don’t know tries to add you as a friend, ignore them and block them.   Don’t give people online your address and phone number.

Social media platforms have an age limit for a reason.  It is to keep young people safe.  The people at Linneyville made this brilliant infographic giving details of the age limits across all social media channels.

Social Media Age Limits Aire Media

We hope you enjoyed today’s slightly different Tips on Tuesday.  If you would like to book Rachel to come talk to children or parents about staying safe online, please contact us here!

Social Media for Children – friend or foe!

A new year and I’m quite sure for many parents, their child has a new gadget. Social media is a fashion statement, a trend amongst young people and it is vital to understand, engage and learn how to allow your children to embrace social media, whilst keeping them safe. I am a parent with a highly tech-savvy child. Every parent understands their role is to protect their children – but how does this relate to a constantly moving technological era.

The first thing to understand is just what your child might be at risk from: –

1. Cyber-bullying.

The thing to remember about social media is that it allows the creation of a persona – that might be quite different from a real life one. Individuals may be encouraged to take part in online bullying because their identity can be hidden.

2. Cyber-stalking

This is harassment on the internet and usually falls into one of three categories: –
• The end of a relationship and one party being unwilling to cease contact
• A relationship that was started online and due to the sharing of personal information the victim has become vulnerable
• Random exploitation – usually of children

3. The viewing of inappropriate content

It is important to remember that although parental controls may be set on devices, these can be bypassed if items are shared by friends in a social network.

4. Online grooming

Possibly the one parents are most aware of and most fearful of. A situation where a person creates and uses a persona to make contact, create a relationship and gain trust with a view to actual physical meeting.

How can parents ensure safety on social media?

This is a question I’ve been asked on a number of occasions and I will share my tips: –

1. Perhaps the most obvious is adhering to age limits imposed by social media sites. For example the age limit on Facebook is 13, and in my opinion this is a reasonable age limit to apply to all social networking sites. If your child is under 13 and requests accounts explain to them the reason for the age limit – that it isn’t that you don’t trust them, but more they need to be wary of other people on the internet.

2. When your child opens an account use a free e-mail purely for signups that doesn’t include the child’s real name.

3. Open the account with your child and ensure the privacy settings on each account they open are at the highest possible settings. Make sure passwords are strong.

4. Discuss with your child the dangers of posting images – even amongst close friends – and that once an image has been posted it is incredibly difficult to get all copies removed. Certainly they should not be posting images they would be unhappy for you to see.

5. Make your child aware of the risk of posting items that may infringe copyright e.g. illegal downloads.

6. Explain how seriously the use of threats against persons – whether known or celebrity – is taken. There have been well documented cases of prosecution following abusive tweets directed at famous people.

7. Make sure your child is aware of the safety functions across all platforms they are using e.g. blocking.

8. Familiarise yourself with all the social networking sites. It is easier to keep aware of how your child is using these sites if you are aware of how they work.

9. Establish ground rules e.g.: –

9.1 Never give out personal details on social media sites
9.2 Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know personally
9.3 Never share passwords even amongst friends
9.4 Never meet anyone you meet online and tell parents of any such requests
9.5 To make you aware immediately of any bullying and to keep a record

The use of social media can seem daunting to many parents. The easiest way to ensure you know just what your child is doing is by talking. Encourage your children to be aware of the pitfalls, encourage them to report to you anything they see which is upsetting and offensive – and reassure them you won’t be angry at them for doing so.

Social media can be a lot of fun for young people; it can also be an uncomfortable experience. So help your children, trust your children and embrace their sensible use of such wonderful networking tools.