Privacy settings allow users to determine who can see their profile, or portions thereof, on social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook, and Bebo. They are powerful tools in helping to protect your teen's information, including blog entries, videos and pictures.
Most social networking sites offer a default privacy setting. Younger users are typically defaulted to private whereas adults are defaulted to public. The default setting helps protect users who may not fully understand the risks of sharing information online with people they don't know. On some sites, users who are changing their default setting from private to public are presented with safety messaging alerting them to the risks of making their profile public. This messaging helps them to make an informed decision.
In the case of Bebo, all users' profiles are defaulted to private with the ability to make public; however, Bebo recommends users under the age of 21 keep their profile private. If a user decides to make their profile public, they can determine both the minimum and maximum age of other users who can contact them. Bebo provides the ability to block other members from sending you mail messages, posting to your white board and commenting on your blog, quizzes, photos, profiles and polls.
If your teen is on a social network, make certain that they are aware of and utilize the site's privacy and communication settings to help create a positive and safer experience.
Watch this video from CBS on Myspace's Privacy Settings: