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Parents can now monitor their children’s social media activity

Do your children use social media?

While sites such as Facebook and Twitter are fantastic platforms for sharing and communicating, they may also pose a threat to young people who are not aware of how to use them safely.

For example, cyber-bullying and 'stranger danger' are very real possibilities when using the internet – especially if your child's privacy settings are not adequate or they do not have sufficient education about how to interact online.

34 per cent of parents are concerned about strangers contacting their children via social networks and 15.3 per cent worry about cyber-bullying, according to a recent Cyber-Safety survey conducted by Telstra.

In response the Australian telecommunications company has released a new service called Safe Social™, providing a way for parents to keep an eye on their children's social media activity.

Features include information about any new friend requests or additions – so that parents can make sure all connections are appropriate – as well as notifications about any anti-social or potentially harmful conversations that may lead to cyber-bullying.

Darren Kane, director of internet trust and safety at Telstra, said that this new service will also open up the lines of communication between parent and child about online safety and social networks.

"Telstra Safe Social™ can help to make it easy for parents to have a conversation with their kids about who they are chatting with online and stay aware of potentially risky situations," he said on April 18.

Although children are often the target of cyber-attacks, adults should pay attention to their own social media strategy to ensure they too are protected online.

A man has recently been sentenced to six months in prison after he posted compromising photos of his former girlfriend on Facebook, with the incident sparking a call for improved cyber-security legislation in Australia.

After all, fresh content posted on the internet has the potential to be viewed by people all over the world, as Alec Christie of law firm DLA Piper points out.

"In the online world it is not a Polaroid shared with people at the pub, it's a Polaroid shared with a billion people or more," Mr Christie told the Sydney Morning Herald on April 22.

Posted by Jess O'Connor