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Hidden Dangers of Facebook: Is It Safe for Kids?

Carla L. Hirsch
security dangers of using Facebook

Millions of kids use Facebook daily to communicate with friends and know the latest news from their crowd. On the one hand, it seems convenient to be aware of what’s going on in their peers’ lives.

On the other hand, children are exposed to the dangers of Facebook, which can influence them negatively throughout their whole life. For instance, children can befriend someone who hurts them, mocks them in a community, or steals their data.

If you want to know more about all the possible dangers that your child can face on Facebook or the ways to prevent them, we recommend that you keep reading his article.

Table Of Contents

What Are the Dangers of Facebook for Kids and Teens?

1. Cyberbullying

One of the most common social issues that kids face online is bullying. It’s no wonder, as bullies know that no one can punish them for offending peers and bully them even harder than in reality.

Facebook seems a perfect place for cyberbullying: offenders can leave nasty comments under someone’s posts, send harassment to their private messages, and encourage others to support them.

If you ask U.S. teenagers about witnessing cyberbullying on Facebook, they’re likely to tell you that all the people out there are mean to others. Other teens will tell you they were victims at least once in their life. Finally, some children become the target of Facebook bullying regularly.

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2. Online predators 

Everyone knows about pedophiles who identify shy or abandoned children to abuse them. However, only a few realize that abusers can groom your child even when both of you stay at home. These groomers are called online predators.

dangers of Facebook

According to the FBI reports, there are over 500,000 online predators on the Internet. Many of them are on Facebook seeking to lure kids into their trap. Sometimes they pose as teenagers to befriend your child online.

However, in most cases, they don’t even have to pretend. As children willingly communicate with strangers on Facebook, the risks of being groomed increase.

Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to identify an online predator unless you use a parental control app to find out.

3. Catfishing

It’s one of the trickiest dangers of Facebook, and children are unlikely to identify it. Catfishing is similar to what online predators do. However, its purpose is to get money from the victim by pretending to be their lover.

While online predators are primarily men, catfishers are often women. They seek single teens on Facebook and exploit their desire to be loved and cared for. Their only purpose is to con someone out of money.

Although catfishing doesn’t involve any severe harm, a victim can feel pretty sad about it. A teen can feel heartbroken, humiliated, or depressed. So, it’s better to prevent them from being catfished on Facebook.

4. Sexting 

Sexting on Facebook is a big problem among young people. It is a process of sharing sexually explicit content with others. Unfortunately, only a few teens are aware of the possible consequences.

Although teens can send nudes to one another just for fun, it could lead to their photos ending up all over the Internet. A receiver of a private message might think sharing it with others is funny. It can lead to public humiliation, depression, bullying, or social isolation.

What’s more, teens can sext with predators who pretend to be their peers. As a result, they can fall victim to sexual abuse.

5. Identity Theft

Facebook is it safe for kids

As children tend to overshare personal information online, they are exposed to the security dangers of using Facebook.

They can become victims of online scammers who seek to steal their identities. Taking advantage of kids’ naivety, cybercriminals can steal their credit card data using scam messages and links that contain phishing.

When a child follows the corrupted link, scammers immediately receive their Facebook login credentials and use them to get credit card details.

6. Social Isolation

One way to prevent kids from being scammed, bullied, or hooked up on Facebook is by using Messenger Kids app. It’s designed for children and has particular limitations that help safeguard children online.

However, this solution can’t protect children from another danger: social isolation. Psychologists proved that kids who constantly communicate on Facebook have difficulties with real-life communication.

Kids feel more open and comfortable talking to someone online. But in fact, it leads to the inability to communicate and show emotions in reality.

7. Waste of Time

On Facebook, kids spend hours commenting on posts and posting their own. Facebook is addictive for kids, as it allows interacting with others round the clock. Even if your children use the safe Facebook kid’s messenger, they waste time on unimportant things instead of studying or hanging out with friends in real life.

According to the researchers, kids spend over 6 hours daily in front of the screen. So, it’s a good idea for parents to limit Facebook for children and encourage them to do something else.

How Do I Prevent My Child From Getting Into Trouble on Facebook?

If you’re bothered by the question: “Is Facebook safe for my child?” we have something to say. Although this social media channel is considered safe for kids and adults, children still can face danger.

As was noted earlier in this article, young people are imposed to being hooked by catfishers, tricked by scammers, or abused by predators. That’s why parents are recommended to use a parental control app to prevent children from getting into trouble on Facebook.

As an option, you can try mSpy, a monitoring tool that allows parents to check out their kids’ online activity remotely. It allows you to view your child’s messages on Facebook and other apps, track GPS locations, monitor phone calls, and get keyboard stroke alerts.

With mSpy, you can identify the danger on time and prevent your child from experiencing any adverse consequences of communicating with weird people.

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Carla L. Hirsch is a writer, editor, and journalist. She has been a staff writer in various US-based periodicals for five years. But then she decided to dedicate her life to traveling and freelance writing.

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