I’d say, that is the tip of the iceberg.
Most of us who use Facebook were lured into it by the catchy promise that you “keep contact with your friends and faraway family” that way. Some of us (especially authors) were lured into it because “you have to be on social networks” to put yourself “out there”. And Facebook (and Myspace, years back, and Ning, and various other networks) was an easy forum to share updates and developments in our lives.
Here’s the thing. People don’t understand (or consider) the dangers.
Facebook, as you may have noticed, insists on a cellphone number for every new account. Once you have innocently given Facebook your cellphone number (and there are various ways in which this can happen), one of the tricks they do unless you are aware of it and change your settings forbidding them this, is to mine your cellphone for all the numbers on it and match them to your friends, family and contacts. As you see, your number can get onto Facebook without you ever having given it.
Whatsapp: This is an offshoot of Facebook (did you know this?). Whatsapp, once you activate it, immediately links your cellphone to your Facebook account unless you know they are going to do it and forbid them. Example: My son, after receiving a smartphone from a well-meaning and by now regretful relative, joined Whatsapp for a family group. If I’d known, I’d have told him to leave that alone. He is 14. He received a Facebook invite on his Whatsapp from a total stranger who “likes” his profile. My son’s very sensible response to that: He blocked the stranger, and then went and deleted his Facebook account.
Don’t whatsapp me. I don’t have Whatsapp and am not intenting to get it. Send me an sms or an email, or don’t bother.
Here’s how it works:
People who are your genuine friends may or may not see your kiddie pictures, and they may or may not click “like”, and they may or may not comment. That’s not the point. Instead, paedophiles, perverts and people in the human trade, in other words criminals, stalk the net to discover kiddie pictures that they like. Then they have various choices.
Some pretend to be a teenager too, sometimes even a cute teenage girl (pictures they’ve stolen elsewhere), and approach your child (if your teen has a profile). They make friends with your child and get themselves invited, and the next thing, crime, abduction, rape and death. (There was a particularly bad case in Cape Town some years back where the sixteen-year-old invited her “friends” to visit while parents were not home; ended up raped and murdered, and they cut off and removed her arms (probably because she had defended herself and got some of their blood, i.e. DNA, under her fingernails).
Some, on the other hand, never contact your child. They use hacking techniques to find the cellphone number of the child, then use the cellphone to determine where that child is (did you realize every cellphone is a tracking device by its very nature?), and abduct the child from school or wherever else.
Still in the mood for advertising your child online?