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How to Do a Privacy Check for Your Teen's Facebook Account

MUO 11/27/2022 Barbara Ivusic
© Provided by MUO

Have you been wondering if your teen is safe using Facebook? If they're a regular user of social media, there is a chance that they're exposed to all kinds of threats. From spammers, to fraud, to receiving friends' requests from people they don't know, it's important to make sure your teen is safe online.

You can show them how to perform a privacy check on Facebook by going through it with them, or by doing it for them. Let's take a look at what you should be checking.

What Is a Privacy Check on Facebook?

Like every social media site, Facebook has privacy settings to keep its users safe. It may sound like a burden to go through privacy settings to make sure your teen's (and your) account is safe, but the good thing is, you only have to do it once to ensure your teen is protected. If you're confused about what age kids should start using social media, the age that most social media sites note down is thirteen.

Whether they are mature enough or not, that is up to you to determine. But if you do let them create their own account, it is important to check that their online activity is private, and that what they're seeing on Facebook is appropriate.

How to Do a Privacy Check of Your Teen's Facebook Account

When checking if your teen is safe on Facebook, there are a few things you need to cover. It's important to tell them that you're not trying to snoop through their profile, and the way to do that is to ask your teens about their social media use, and if they are aware of online threats.

All you need to do is go to their profile picture on the top right-hand side, then go to the icon for Settings. Click on Profile settings next to the profile picture. This will take you to Privacy and Notifications for that account.

Privacy Setting Basics

There are some privacy settings on Facebook that you should change as soon as you get a moment. With so many Facebook scams out there, you should address the issue of privacy for your teen's account before they fall victim to one of them.

When you click on your teen's Privacy, you'll be given some Privacy Shortcuts to look over. In this section, you'll be able to review important things such as: if your teen's birthday is correct.

Note that they should be at least thirteen years of age to access Facebook because of the advertisements shown to them. To clarify, Facebook won't show inappropriate ads (involving alcohol for example) to underage teens. This is why it's important to check the birth date they have listed.

In the Privacy Shortcuts section, you will also be able to review things like Activity. In this section you can review things like:

  • Who can see their posts.
  • Who can see their past posts.
  • Check who can see the people, Pages, and lists they follow.
  • Choose how people can find and contact them.

Also in the Privacy Shortcuts, you should cover privacy basics and go through things like:

  • Tagging (who can tag them).
  • Posts (check if they are private or public).
  • Check who can see their stories.
  • Check who can see their future reels.
  • Make sure that only friends of friends can send requests and not strangers.
  • Check if their Friend List is visible and determine if it should be set to private for extra safety.
  • Check who can look them up using the email and phone number they provided.
  • Check if their phone number is correct (in case someone hacks into their account, Facebook will need to verify them)

Check Ad Settings

Facebook's news feeds show more than just the activity of friends and people your teen follows. They also show numerous advertisements. After you've checked the age of your teen to make sure they are not being shown inappropriate ads, you can also go to ad settings to optimize the kind of ads they see.

To check the kinds of ads your teen can see on their news feed, you will need to go back to Settings. Scroll down to Ads and click on Ad preferences.

In this section, you'll be able to see your teen's activity (ads they have interacted with recently). You can click on the button Hide Ads if you think that the ads they are interacting with are not appropriate. You will also be able to choose the Ad topics your teen is being shown.

Why Online Safety Is More Important Than Ever

Both posts and advertisements that your teen sees are unpredictable, and there is no such thing as being one hundred percent safe online. If you've never thought about checking their privacy settings on Facebook, it may be time to do so.

By doing this, you will be able to make sure that when your teen posts something, it is only being seen by their close circle. You will also make sure that spammers have a limited chance of reaching them.

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