Teenager plays it safe online

Mitchell McGann, 15, is up to date with his private settings on Facebook.
Mitchell McGann, 15, is up to date with his private settings on Facebook. Brenda Strong GLAFACB

MITCHELL McGann plays it safe on Facebook.

The 15-year-old has been using the social networking site for about three years.

With 200-plus friends on Facebook already, Mitchell feels no need to add "randoms".

He's had people he doesn't know try to become his friend "plenty of times".

He doesn't add them, "just in case they're pedophiles".

His privacy settings are kept pretty high too.

"If you're not my friend you can't see my status updates."

While his parents don't monitor his Facebook use as such, they are also users and have 'friended' him.

Mitchell reckons they've done this to up their friend count.

Facebook's Safety Centre has some advice on appropriate interaction.

"Think of social media as a get-together at one of your child's friends' houses.

"You can give permission for your teen to attend, and even though you won't be there to monitor their behaviour, you trust your teen to have good judgment around peers and other parents."

Kids under 13 aren't allowed to use Facebook.

And there are added security settings for teenagers aged 13 to 17 to ensure their profiles and posts don't show up in public searches.

Topics:  facebook internet social media

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