Children set up fake Facebook accounts to have privacy from their parents or other authority figures who might monitor their online activity. Privacy laws in the United States prohibit Facebook from allowing children under 13 to set up online profiles. However, kids can set up their fake accounts with false birthdays to get around these rules. Kids also set up Facebook profiles under fake names. In an article posted in “The Guardian,” Dr. Barbie Clarke, who works with the United Kingdom-based research agency Family Kids and Youth, suggests that some kids have two or three Facebook accounts. Discovering whether or not your child is using a fake account might take some detective work on your end -- and might seem like an invasion of your child’s privacy. It’s up to you on how far you want to go to find out.
Ask your child if he has a Facebook account under a different name. Although he might not be honest with you, he might come out and tell you whether or not he is using the social media website.
Use the search function on Facebook to look for your child, using his name and email address. Instead of using a fake name, he might have used a fake birthday to set up an account.
Recognize a red flag if your child who is active on Facebook has a profile with very little activity. In a post on ShareExpert.com, Shawn Marie Edgington, author of “The Parent’s Guide to Texting, Facebook and Social Media: Understanding the Benefits and Dangers of Parenting in a Digital World,” suggests that a child who is active on Facebook might have a separate profile for his friends than the one he shows his parents.
Search for your child’s friends on Facebook. Even if your child is using a fake account, his friends might be using their real names. If you locate his close friends’ profiles, look for one that is not set to private so you can look at wall posts and photos. Search through pictures to see if your child is tagged. If you find a picture with your child who is tagged, click on the tag to be directed to the profile associated with the tag. Depending on the privacy settings, you can also search through the friends on Facebook profile. Although this can be a time-consuming activity, you might be able to locate your child’s fake Facebook account if he has one.
View the Internet history on your computer. He might have deleted the history, but you can look for visits or page views on Facebook.
Install a web monitoring tool on your computer to alert you to any Facebook activity. Keep in mind that your child might not access his fake profile from your home computer and instead access the social media website from his phone, school or friend’s computer.
Monitor your child’s activity on his phone if he has Internet access. Look for Facebook apps on the phone and also check the Internet history.