A Parents’ Guide to Facebook Offers Hands-On Help in Optimizing Teens’ Safety and Privacy in the World’s No. 1 Social Networking Site

A Parents’ Guide to Facebook Offers Hands-On Help in Optimizing Teens’ Safety and Privacy in the World’s No. 1 Social Networking Site

Guidebook by Anne Collier and Larry Magid of ConnectSafely.org is published in partnership with the iKeepSafe Coalition

Washington DC, Nov. 9–ConnectSafely.org and the iKeepSafe Coalition are pleased to announce the publication of A Parents’ Guide to Facebook. The 35-page booklet and online resource – available for reading and printing at www.connectsafely.org/fbparents – provides parents with the perspective and how-to information they need to help their teens optimize their privacy and safety on Facebook. Magid and Collier had earlier co-authored MySpace Unraveled: A Parents’ Guide to Teen Social Networking (Peachpit Press, 2006).

The guide features hands-on, step-by-step instructions and illustrations, as well as parenting points on safety, privacy, and reputation protection. It covers both cellphone- and computer-based use of Facebook and the site’s newest features, including Places, Groups, and the latest privacy updates.

A Parents’ Guide to Facebook is being debuted today at the 4th-annual Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) conference, where both Magid and Collier are presenting. Its message of supporting good citizenship for safe use of social media blends well with the subject of the 2010 conference: “Internet Freedom, Safety & Citizenship: A Global Call to Action.”

In partnership with the iKeepSafe Coalition, the Guide will be translated into other languages and distributed internationally. The first non-English edition will be published in Arabic by the Cairo-based Cyberpeace Initiative, founded by Egyptian First Lady Suzanne Mubarak.

In addition to the print and Web-based booklet, ConnectSafely is also launching an at-a-glance interactive chart with recommendations and links to pages in Facebook where teens can configure the best privacy settings for them.

“Many of our recommendations are stricter than Facebook’s default settings for teens but, fortunately, Facebook provides excellent tools for further customization. This booklet helps parents and teens customize those tools for teen-appropriate safety, privacy, and reputation protection,” said ConnectSafely co-director Larry Magid.

Marsali Hancock, president of the Internet Keep Safe Coalition, said, “IKeepSafe is thrilled to collaborate on the Parents’ Guide that allows parents and teens to discuss skills and safeguards to utilize Facebook safely and securely while creating a generation of responsible, ethical and resilient digital citizens.”

Stephen Balkam, CEO of FOSI, said, “While Facebook provides a wonderful opportunity for teens to connect with their friends, it’s important for young users to be aware of all of the privacy options available to them. This new guide provides parents with important information to help their teens navigate Facebook safely.”

About ConnectSafely

ConnectSafely (connectsafely.org) is for parents, teens, educators, advocates – everyone engaged in and interested in the impact of the social Web. The user-driven, all-media, multi-platform, fixed and mobile social Web is a big part of young people’s lives and this is the central space – linked to from social networks across the Web – for learning about safe, civil use of Web 2.0 together. ConnectSafely advises the Internet industry, other non-profits and government on best practices and policies.

Co-directors Larry Magid and Anne Collier, both journalists and Internet safety advocates, served on the Obama administration’s Online Safety & Technology Working Group and the Berkman Center’s Internet Safety Technical Task Force. They also operate SafeKids.com and NetFamilyNews.org. ConnectSafely’s supporters include Google, TrendMicro, AT&T, Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo!, AOL, Loopt, Togetherville, Symantec, Glympse, and Tiny Planets.

About the Internet Keep Safe Coalition

The Internet Keep Safe Coalition (iKeepSafe.org) is an international coalition of more than 100 leaders worldwide with a shared vision of seeing generations of the world’s children grow up safely using technology and the Internet. Coalition members include policy leaders, industry, public health, child advocacy, law enforcement, and education experts, working together to bring all communities into full digital citizenship. iKeepSafe tracks global trends and issues surrounding Web-based products and develops positive, research-based resources to teach the safe and healthy use of connected technologies. Internationally, iKeepSafe has outreach programs in Australia, China, Dubai, Nigeria, the UK and US. IKeepSafe is a member of Egypt’s Cyberpeace Initiative with First Lady Suzanne Mubarak, the EastWest Institute’s Cybersecurity initiatives, and the International Telecommunication Union’s Child Online Protection Initiative.

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