Teens need to check Facebook privacy settings

Facebook’s new privacy rules for teens allowing them to post publicly may put children at risk, according to child advocate groups.

Until now teens aged from 13 to 17 were limited to sharing status updates, links, information and photos only with their own friends or friends of those friends and in fact all 'preteen' Facebook users have been barred from making their posts visible to all users.

The new changes will give teens the choice of switching their settings so their posts can be accessible to the public and sexual offenders are now more eligible in getting their personal information and photographs.

A new way for teens to be more accessible to sexual offenders?

According to the Dailymail, paedophiles could find it easier to prey on teenagers online after Facebook changed its rules to allow under-18s to share pictures with anyone on the internet.

They have been restricted to those they had already decided to link with on the social networking site and were allowed to share posts only with ‘friends of friends’.

But, following what it claims are demands from teenagers themselves, that protection has been removed and Facebook will allow children to share their images and videos with the entire public.

Teens and their sexy self portraits

The move has been condemned as a ‘disaster’ by campaigners, who warn that explicit self-portraits taken by youngsters could fall into the wrong hands which could quite possibly contribute to cyberbullying as well.

The change brings Facebook in line with other social networks such as Twitter, which allows all users to post publicly.

Another change means teenage users will be given a default setting of ‘friends only’ – meaning that to post publicly they will have to change the setting themselves.

Technically, Facebook is open only to those aged 13 and above, but in fact thousands of children younger than that have become members of the site by lying about their age.

Facebook does not carry out an age verification check. It means that thousands of children under 13 could also be at risk of seeing their photos fall into the hands of paedophiles.

What do you think of the new Facebook changes?