Facebook Risks Children’s Privacy, says Survey

An European survey reveals that social networking sites like Facebook and others expose children’s private details which can be mis-used by online bullies and pedophiles. Out of 14 Internet sites, only MySpace and Bebo ensure that strangers cannot access user profiles.

Social networking sites are popular among children. 77% of kids between 13-16 and 38% between 9-12 use these sites currently. Authorities say many kids do not understand the risks of disclosing personal information. This exposes them to cyber-bullying and grooming.

The encouraging news is that 12 sites have made it impossible for strangers to use search engines like Google or Yahoo to ferret out children’s profiles. Many sites have agreed to do self-regulation regarding privacy. An earlier survey had discovered that only 50% of kids know how to alter their privacy settings.

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