Teens Abandoning Facebook for Twitter?

training wheels

The social network training wheels parents provided for Facebook are beginning to shift to something new now that teenagers are moving more exclusively to other social network sites like Twitter. With adults seeming to be taking over Facebook and the endless battles over privacy issues, can teens really find more peace, tranquility and safety over at Twitter? According to a Pew Report, kids were finding better methods of expression on Twitter (and Instagram) than Facebook has ever provided.

With so much media focus on Facebook, it's easy to forget about the dangers that still exist in the world of Twitter that parents need to remind their kids to avoid.

Phishing in Direct Messages

As seen with various political scandals last year involving Twitter's direct messaging system, it's the equivalent of a hidden dark alley sometimes. And when Twitter accounts of friends sometimes get hacked, that hacker can send direct message phishing links to all followers as a more effective method in enticing someone to click. It's easy to be fooled when close friends write internally to say they found a link to a cool picture.

It's best to watch for direct messages that have your kids' friends writing in a manner or style they ordinarily wouldn't. If you're not sure, have your kids write the friend to make sure the private message is real.

Hacking is Still a Problem on Twitter

Even major media Twitter accounts such as The Associated Press are now vulnerable to hackers. What that says about Twitter security is still unknown, but anybody's account can be hacked if a user doesn't follow one simple thing: Changing a password as regularly as clothing. The best rule of thumb is to make sure your child changes his or her password at least once a month.

Creating a new password regularly provides a safer environment on Twitter just in case kids have personal information mentioned in their direct messages. It also saves your kids embarrassment if a hacker takes over their account to tweet controversial or prurient comments.

Pornography Still Exists on Twitter

While not quite as bad as it used to be, it's still possible to receive porn spam in a Twitter direct message box. Primarily, though, porn accounts do random following so they can gain followers quickly. These can sometimes fool people based on profile pictures that don't look provocative.

Watch your kids' follow list and delete accounts that appear to be picking up random followers. These accounts sometimes have a link under their profile pictures that contain a name that sounds pornographic. They frequently tweet random quotes or do nothing but retweet others as a clue that they aren't there to socialize.Sign up for Bark's award-winning  monitoring service today

We are pleased to announce that Bark will be taking over where we leave off. The uKnowKids mission to protect digital kids will live on with Bark. Our team will be working closely with Bark’s team in the future, so that we can continue making the digital world a safer, better place for kids and their families. While we are disappointed we could not complete this mission independently, we are also pleased to hand the uKnowKids baton to Bark.
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