The most popular social networking websites for 2014-2015  are Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat and KIK Instant Messenger.  The following cotains a brief description and potential safety issues for each site.  For more detailed information and recomendations on how to protect your chilldren, click on Advice for Safer Online Socializing.  For more detailed informaiton, go the Microsoft Safety and Security Center.




Facebook is a popular free social networking website that allows registered users to create profiles, upload photos and video, send messages and keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues.

Within each member's personal profile, there are several key networking components. The most popular is arguably the Wall, which is essentially a virtual bulletin board. Messages left on a member's Wall can be text, video or photos. Another popular component is the virtual Photo Album. Photos can be uploaded from the desktop or directly from a smartphone camera.

Potential Safety Risks

Privacy Risks

  • Facebook offers many different privacy settings, which can be difficult to navigate. Children may not understand the need to protect content they post online.
    • Figuring out how to adjust Facebook privacy settings involves understanding different types of content, friend lists, connections and other conceptual aspects of the social network, which can pose a challenge for children.

Cyber Bullying

  • Cyber bullying can take many different forms, including name-calling, embarrassment, humiliation, sexual harassment and threats.
    • Children may fail to realize cyber bullying or may be too embarrassed to report it. In severe cases, it may be necessary to involve the authorities, which can leave children on the bullying end in quite a bit of trouble.

Online Strangers

  • Many online predators use social networks like Facebook to facilitate relationships with underage children.

·         Predators set up fake Facebook profiles and send friend requests to children to gain trust, which can ultimately lead to setting up face-to-face meetings.

 Read more :

Social Site Information

Advice for Safer Online Socializing

Safety & Security Center