The recent missing person case of the teen Anchen Muller from Brackenfell, Cape Town once again highlighted how important it is for parents and guardians to monitor their children’s social media activity and profiles. It has now been identified that Anchen planned her run away with a man she met on Facebook and that her recent behaviour online raised red flags.

Parents should be vigilant and continually monitor their children’s social media activity. What is imperative is that you engage with your child on the dangers of certain content. Often teenagers do not understand the extent of the reach of their posts and innocently post content that can be publicly viewed.

Social media for teenagers should be a means to communicate with inner family circles and friends, parents should be in tune to notice warning signs the moment their child’s friends cannot be identified. Make it a weekly exercise, scan your child’s profiles and see who is communicating with them. Who likes their posts, who comments on them. In the case of Anchen she posted questionable images on Facebook and received a lot of engagement, often of a sexual nature from men twice her age.

Parents of younger teens, especially younger than sixteen, should have access and login information to their children’s social media platforms. Ensure you check in regularly to monitor external interaction, messages received from friends and the public. Predators are on the prowl and your child’s activity might be acceptable from a general perspective but to someone wanting to take advantage of them could see it as an opportunity.

Lastly, privacy settings on your child’s social media platforms have to be set up to ensure their private information is protected and that only their friends can see their content.

Statement by
Rudi Massyn
Massyn Media Director

Categories: Blog

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