Skype and Facebook Integration - what this means for kids?
2015-09-18Facebook and Skype have partnered together to integrate the biggest video call network in to the largest social media network. This has created a lot of buzz in the tech industry, claimed as one of the most important integrations. Facebook is home to more than 1 billion active monthly users worldwide and Skype boasts more than 500 million users and 75 million corporate employees. The new service will enable any Facebook user to instantly video chat with any friend in his/her list. Although this is a remarkable service, many people are concerned about its impact on teenagers and underage kids on Facebook.
Facebook’s Engineer Philip Su stated at the announcement conference,” Your least technical friend can get online and connected”. He wanted to emphasize on the ease of access to video calls from within Facebook. The feature is so simple to use that a layman will be able to use it without any issues. Obviously, everyone in the tech industry adores such simplicity but this becomes a major cause of concern for parents as well.
Social media is already a very dangerous place for children and young adults. Parents know about the friends they meet every day at school or outside school. The problem of social media is the anonymity which has resulted in a lot of tragic incidents. There are many underage kids who use Facebook and at the same time there millions of fake profiles on Facebook as well.
You do not know who the real person behind that fake profile is. He can be a child molester, identity thief, kidnapper, robber or any other criminal. There are 7.5 million underage kids on Facebook, while there are ways to monitor your child’s Facebook activity. The simple procedure of video call through integration with Skype does not allow any way for parents to monitor those video calls.
Facebook and Skype integration is a great tool to catchup with your friends and families in different countries but there are millions of dangerous people on the social media as well. There are several tools available for parents to monitor their child’s Facebook activity. KidMonitor is one of these application which is being used by parents to keep an eye on their children. The application gives access to messages, photos and other things of the kid’s Facebook account to his/her parents. All the information is presented clearly on the parental dashboard. It is an excellent way for parents to protect their children on social media. KidMonitor’s Director of Marketing says that even they are concerned about child safety with the introduction of this service.
The author of The Parent's Guide to Texting, Facebook and Social Media: Understanding the Benefits and Dangers of Parenting in a Digital World, Shawn Edgington has a neutral view of the service. She thinks that the service is good because you can have a video call only with the people in your friend list unlike Skype that allows you to connect with anyone. At the same time, she fears that underage children make stupid mistakes by adding anyone as their friend and can also end up having a video chat with them.
Both Shawn and KidMonitor’s director state there is a definite risk involved in this new service so they have prepared some guidelines and tips for parents. Parents need to present these guidelines to their children:
• Talk about the potential danger and consequences involved in talking to strangers online. Emphasize on the disadvantages of video calls and how not to do what that stranger asks you to do.
• Also discuss how a person can record the video call and spread it around the web.
• Parents should monitor their child’s video call activity personally. Also go through his/her friend list.
• Even if you allow your kid to have video chats, make sure he/she does not reveal too many personal details.
• Prevent your kids from adding so many pictures of themselves on their profiles.
• Set some rules and regulations regarding the use of social media. Also include a rule that video calls with strangers is off limits.
Shawn Edgington also recommends using SocialCop monitoring tool to parents. It is an internet monitoring tool that scans the activity with the help of keywords and phrases without invading the child’s privacy.
KidMonitor is also waiting for Facebook to provide Developer/API access for the video call service so it can be integrated in the application. It will help KidMonitor users to monitor their child’s video calls on Facebook.
To control your children in facebook social network and skype you may use Spyrix software example the program Spyrix Personal Monitor. This application will record all children's activity on PC, including facebook, skype, you will also see visited web-pages, dialogues, groups.