Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Being in the internet applications development field, security stays in mind.  Browsing a site earlier today brought great concern.  Social media sites can offer a plethora of privacy options, but none can protect against misuse of an authorized account.  Let's say a minor post pictures of oneself and friends on their personal site.  This site is accessible by their "friends" of the same age aznd most likely have the same associations (school, church, neighborhood).  Some may think that since their privacy settings are restricted to just "friends" all is well. 

What about the credentials of those friends? How safe are they kept? 
Think about these scenarios...

Scenario A
A "friend" of the minor shares a computer with others, family, friends, or just anyone in the household.  They all use the same computer account and password.  This minor also has their social media site setting to leave them logged on to the computer.  This would be convenient for the minor's friend but also has made the minor's pictures available to strangers.

Scenario B
The minor's friend, or anyone accessible to the account, purposely saves the minors images from the browser and distributes them to strangers.

Scenario C
The minor posts status of current activities denoting location and pattern of events.  A stranger, having the minor's images, could now identify and track the minor based on these status live via mobile access.

In each of the scenarios, the minor may have no idea who is viewing/tracking/stalking them.  It would not matter whether the minor's images were provocative or not, there are many ill people in this world that should not have access to these images and status messages.

Some of these sites have restriction of 13 aged minors, this needs to be increased to no one under 18.
It shouldn't be that hard.


  1. There is a lot to consider about being on a social media site period. People should take the time to learn as much as they can about protecting their information.

    Your ideas are good. However, what is going to stop a 13 year old from declaring that they are 18? As the inter net currently operates there is no way to check the individual who signs up. Unless parents are monitoring their child/children's usage.

    There is are social media sites for 6 to 12 year olds. They have to have their parents interact to even join. The design includes controlled comments and a lot of different features to protect the users. Parents know when their children are signed in via alert.

    If the 13 to 17 year olds don't have access to some form of social media, I think that they will end up forcing their way into a site by deception.

  2. I signed up for both Facebook and twitter,after seeing and hearing many horrific stories about peoples experiences on these sites,I limit what I share on both sites.

  3. I completely agree - I found this blog because I want to start on online campaign to prohibit minors from social media sites - many reasons - not the least I believe it will raise the intellect of the upcoming generation which seems to be faltering - how do we do this?

  4. msladydeborah said...

    > Your ideas are good. However, what is going to stop a 13 year old from declaring that they are 18? As the inter net currently operates there is no way to check the individual who signs up.

    Age verification by credit card maybe? I know the USPS (a gov agency) is able and does verify identity - why not age? Legislation can mandate providers verify age - if it's a problem and can't be done now, I'm sure innovation will figure it out.


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