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My child is underage, but has created a social networking profile. What should I do?

My child is underage, but has created a social networking profile. What should I do?

Research shows us that a large number of children have created a social networking profile before they are at the correct age (usually 13) to do so. It is important to respect the terms of use of the site and register with the correct age, as there are additional protections in place for younger users. If the site discovers that underage users are using the service, they will delete their account. You should discourage underage use of these services as best you can, and be aware of services which cater for younger users by having sophisticated safety features. It is often possible to report to the service if you become aware of an underage user.

Before young people start using social networking services it is important that they are equipped with the skills to stay safe online and to use social networking sites responsibly. Sit down together and make sure that you both know how to use the privacy tools that are provided. There are many ways in which a social networking profile can remain private that will prevent your child from giving out personal information to strangers. Support your child in ensuring that they only add contacts to these sites that they also know and trust offline. One way to keep an eye on how your child uses a social networking site is to connect with them. 

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