Are Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and other social networks dangerous for children? The answer is yes, and on several levels.
Easy to use and open to the sharing of information and timelines, social networks and community platforms in general, should be considered by parents with particular caution.
Other types of applications are developing, for example Snapchat (aimed at users of smart phones) allowing the sending of photos which will auto-destruct after several seconds. The danger here is giving young people a false sense of security leading to them revealing inappropriate photographs which can then be found (despite their theoretical destruction) on forums or social networks…
Children and teenagers do not worry about the importance of their personal data and do not hesitate to fill in their profile with private information. Often, without realising the impact that action may have on their digital identity and, by extension, their physical environment.
Home address, school, hobbies, holiday photos, list of friends - all this information is valuable not only for the companies that recover and resell them, but also for other third parties whom such information may interest. Even information which appears harmless, such as the name of the sports centre or the closest bus stop, could be retrieved by a potentially malicious person.
Online harassment can be exercised by sexual predators to achieve their purposes, but it is mostly seen in children themselves and teenagers to harm other children. Online harassment by other children should be taken with the utmost seriousness. A publication of photo albums from a holiday or an innocent party can turn into obscene abuse or persistent insults online and in real life.
Numerous Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Google+ accounts are dedicated to pornography, with content essentially visual (photos, videos). These are not filtered by administrators and can be found in the general flow, as long as friends are fans or have "Liked" the profile, or simply fell into the trap and executed malicious code.