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2 experts and 3 parents have answered

expert answer
Magda de Lange expert
Magda de Lange Global Learning Professional ZA
Education expert

I don't snoop since it would be a breech of trust and respect between parent and Teen/Tween. When they were younger, I did however look at profiles and messages at random times with them sitting next to me. It was a deal we made when they opened accounts and were below age. Yes, expat kids especially open accounts at an early age in order to stay connected - no need for me to pretend that we stuck to the law ;-)

3 Reply Share:
Experience 3 years ago
Joanne Mallon writer
Joanne Mallon Author, parent, blogger Brighton, The City of Brighton and Hove, UK

Yesterday my 13-year-old daughter was using my PC to check Facebook, and when I turned it on this morning she’s still logged in. If I wanted to I could snoop into her private messages and she would never know. It’s the modern day equivalent of our parents finding our paper diaries (remember how embarrassing that was?)

So would you do it? Have you ever? Or is it a complete no no and breach of privacy?

Parents I’ve spoken to have a variety of approaches - some make it a condition of Facebook usage that they will know their child’s password, and reserve the right to snoop from time to time. But then I’ve also heard of kids who’ve reacted to this sort of over the shoulder control by having a second, secret account that their parents don’t know about.

Other parents simply leave their teen to it on Facebook, and assume that all’s well unless they hear otherwise. Or they keep a close eye on who their child is friends with but otherwise leave well alone.

I guess what it boils down to is - do you trust your child or not? And how much can you keep a handle on your own inner control freak nosy person? Knowing that my daughter is a fairly sensible and level headed type, I will trust her until she gives me a reason to do otherwise. At the moment she is quite open with me, and will show me her Facebook messages unprompted if she wants my input on something. I can’t help thinking that if she found out I was undermining her privacy, all of that would stop.

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Experience 3 years ago
expert answer
Jodie Cole expert
Jodie Cole Social Media Manager Birmingham, GB
Technology expert

We have collected results in our survey ( from parents who have a trust agreement, right through to those who only allow their child on social media if they have their password.

Some issues that have been raised with regards to 'secret snooping' is that if we want to train our children to be open and honest about everything social media and digital, then surely parents shouldn't be sneaking around their profiles themselves. We have some responses from parents who ask their child to log into their social media accounts in front of them and go through their private messages there and then, to make sure there are no issues.

Again, this is a completely new phenomenon, and there are no tried and tested rules for all parents. Our view is that we should be sharing case studies to help educate parents by example and find an approach that best works for them and their children.

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Experience 3 years ago
Cliff Jones writer
Cliff Jones Dad of two. Life 1st, tech 2nd. Maidenhead, Windsor and Maidenhead, UK

If they leave it logged in? No. Because I know their passwords.

It was always a rule that until they were teenagers, if they join a social network, they have to be my friend on it, and I have to know their password. I hope that because I have access, they keep a check on their activity - and because of that assumption, I don't feel the need to check their activity. So the understanding of the possibility of snooping negates the reason for snooping in the first place.

Surveillance society? Maybe, but sometimes parenting is a benevolent dictatorship, albeit one in which the trains don't always run on time. Just because I think governments shouldn't act like parents doesn't mean that it can't work the other way around sometimes.

1 Reply Share:
Opinion 3 years ago
LeeAnn Marie Wilson
LeeAnn Marie Wilson Physics. :>

If there's a significant reason to, or something that comes as suspicious and you feel the need to you have the right to. If it's something you'll feel bad about doing, no.

0 Reply Share:
Opinion 3 years ago

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