Guide for teen-proofing Facebook released

New guide for parents is designed to allow teenagers to use Facebook safely.

If you are a parent and you want your teen to be able to use Facebook without either of you having to worry that your child is sharing too much personal information, there's a new resource that can help.

A "Parents' Guide to Facebook," being unveiled today, offers hands-on, step-by-step instructions and illustrations, as well as information on safety, privacy, and reputation protection; and it covers the use of Facebook on computers and cell phones. It also offers specific recommendations for configuring privacy settings, noting that the default Facebook settings are not as privacy protective as they should be, even for adults.

The guide is being debuted at the fourth annual Family Online Safety Institute conference by the iKeepSafe Coalition and Connect Safely, a project of the nonprofit Tech Parenting Group. ( contributor Larry Magid of is a co-director of that group.)

Facebook also has its own Safety Center, launched earlier this year, that provides information geared toward parents and teens.

The guidance will no doubt be a welcome resource for parents who have trouble keeping up with their teens' activities, both online and offline. A recent survey found social networks are not doing enough to protect teens' privacy. The guide may even help teens avoid the mistake one girl made recently when she accidentally invited thousands of strangers to her private house party.

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