How do I protect my children’s personal information on social networking sites?

Children need to know the details of protecting themselves on social networking sites.  A Harris/McAfee poll found that 87 percent of teens go online from a computer or mobile device outside of their home.  And, they are not just accessing the sites from their Macs or PCs but also from smartphones and hand-held gaming devices.  Here are some rules to follow:  

• Never include physical location in status updates.
• Chat only with people you know in the real world.
• Check with you first before installing an application which can accidentally allow a virus, spyware, or other software to infect the computer.
• Avoid downloading free music or videos, which are highly likely to infect the family PC with worms, viruses, adware, spyware or backdoors that allow cyber criminals access to the computer.
• Ensure your children are using sites that meet age restrictions.
• Set  profiles to “private” so that only their friends can contact them.

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