Facebook Weary Parents Gain New Tool in Privacy Fight

Parents in search of ways to protect their teens online have a new step-by-step guide, focused on one, high-profile, privacy-breaching site: Facebook.

Parents in search of ways to protect their teens online have a new step-by-step guide, focused on one, high-profile, privacy-breaching site: Facebook.

The site that kids love and parents seem to loathe is targeted in the new “Parents’ Guide to Facebook,” a GPS of sorts for parents lost in the world of privacy settings, photo sharing, friending and poking.

Featured in the 35-page booklet are detailed instructions for how to use new features such as Groups and Places, as well as the standards like how to block invites, what information is okay to share and what should be kept privacy.

The guide comes as Facebook finds itself immersed in privacy breaches that have compromised user data, putting its more than 500 million users undoubtedly on guard.

A recent poll we reported on found that 79 percent of teens and 92 percent of parents are concerned about the amount of information shared on social networking sites like Facebook.

Noted among the instructions are recommendations that parents use advanced configurations for privacy settings, noting that the default Facebook settings are not as secure as they should be, even for adults.

The guide is being released this week by the online safety and advocacy group ConnectSafely.org and the iKeepSafe Coalition as part of the 4th-annual Family Online Safety Institute Conferencein Washington, D.C.

Echoing the idea that “it takes a village” to maintain user privacy online, the theme of this year’s conference is, “Internet Freedom, Safety and Citizenship: A Global Call to Action.”