Removing a Teenager's Facebook Account
Children under the age of 13 should not have Facebook accounts, according to the Facebook Terms of Service. In some countries, such as Spain or South Korea, children must be 14 or older to use Facebook. Parents can fill out a form to report underage children on Facebook. After receiving a report, Facebook staff will investigate and delete the profile if the account appears to belong to someone younger than 13. While parents will not be notified if the account is deleted, you should not be able to find the profile when you browse on Facebook again. If your child is 13 or older, you will not be able to remove the account by reporting it.
Protecting Your Child's Privacy Rights
Parents may be concerned if others post images, videos or other information about their children. If your child is under 13, you can report any media that you feel violates the privacy of your child by filling out Facebook's "Report a Privacy Rights Violation" form. If your child is 13 or older, talk with her about making the request herself. Facebook may also use your child's photos in advertisements. If your child is under 18, fill out the form on Facebook's "Request Help with Your Child's Ads Settings" to prevent Facebook from using your child's media in ads.
Encouraging Your Teen to Delete His Account
If you want a teenager 13 or older to delete his account, ask him why he has one in the first place. Address the possible concerns of having an account. Suggest he use alternatives to connect with his friends such as an instant messenger service. Keep the focus on your concerns for his safety because of other people, and not on your concerns about his maturity or ability to use Facebook. Let your teenager make his own decision about deleting his account.
Safety on Facebook
Parents should encourage teenagers of all ages to use Facebook wisely. Advise them to avoid sharing passwords and only accept friend requests from those they know in person. Your teen should change passwords often and avoid posting anything personal, like where he attends school. He can also click on "Privacy Settings" to adjust what others can see on his profile. Encourage him to "friend" you on Facebook, and go over the site's rules, as well as your own rules, regularly with your teenager. Parents should explain the reasons behind their rules, which may make teenagers more likely to follow them, notes HealthyChildren.org.
Ask your child for Facebook log-in credentials, including the email associated with his Facebook account and the password. Some parents make sharing Facebook credentials a prerequisite to using the website, as suggested by psychologist Alan Dienstag. Other parents opt to use software to provide ongoing access to Facebook activity, according to the SafetyWeb website, a parental monitoring service connected with Experian.
Become your child’s friend on Facebook to gain access to daily activity on the website. Check Facebook daily to keep up with your child’s Facebook activities. Realize, however, that children can restrict the flow of information to you through Facebook by using customizable options within every post and picture, according to the Connect Safely website. Your child has the ability to set privacy settings to exclude you from being able to view some content.
Set notifications within Facebook to enable you to receive text messages or emails to notify you of your child’s Facebook activity. Within your child’s Facebook account, you can enter your email address or your cell phone number into these fields so you receive messages with this information.
Ask your child for Skype log-in credentials, including username and password. As with Facebook, you might require your child to give you this information to enable you to supervise Skype use for safety.
Check Skype logs within the program to monitor activity. Within the “Tools” tab at the top of the program, find the “Privacy” link in the left sidebar and click to open. Check the “keep history for” setting and ensure that your child’s setting shows “forever.” This will enable you to look back through instant messaging logs to view conversations.
Instruct your child not to clear instant messaging history or to change the setting to anything other than “forever.”
Use software that will monitor Skype outside of the program. This software has the benefit of not only providing instant messaging logs, but it also enables you to monitor voice chats by recording the chats. Programs such as Skype Call Recorder and MX Skype Recorder are two options for recording Skype conversations.
Facebook Age Requirements
Users must be a minimum of 13 years of age to create a Facebook account, states the Facebook website. If a user under age 13 creates an account, either the user can request deletion or someone else can report the account to Facebook. As soon as Facebook receives the report, it will delete the account. In Spain and South Korea, users must be at least 14 years of age according to local jurisdictions. Facebook adheres to these local laws.
Facebook Privacy Guidelines
Facebook cannot provide unauthorized access of an account to anyone other than the account holder due to privacy laws. This means that regardless of your child’s age, Facebook cannot legally grant you access to the account to monitor it or to delete it.
Requesting Data from an Underage Account
Before requesting deletion of an underage child’s account from Facebook, you can request data from the account for your information or records. Visit the Facebook website and fill out an online form to request the data. You must supply the full name of your child, the URL of the child’s Facebook timeline, the email address associated with the account and the age of the child. In the appropriate box, list the specific account information you want Facebook to provide. At the bottom of the form, use the “Upload” button to upload a notarized statement that declares your legal parental or guardian rights to request the information for the child. Submit the form by clicking the “Send” button.
If your child is between the ages of 13 and 18 and you want to prevent access to your child, your only options do not involve Facebook itself. You may need to restrict your child’s access to the Internet at home and on mobile devices. As long as your child still has a Facebook account, your child might access the website from other computers out of your control. Facebook advocates open communication with kids to teach them how to stay safe on the Internet.
Install monitoring software that has a keylogger function. Buy or download monitoring software that can log keystrokes. This software will allow you to gain access to your child’s Facebook password.
Obtain a keylog report from your monitoring software. The keylog report will usually display the text your child typed and the time at which it was typed. The keylog sometimes can be enough to give parents enough insight into a child’s Facebook conversation. But because keylogging software only records what your child types, the other side of the Facebook conversation will not appear.
Obtain your child’s Facebook password. Look in the keylog for your child’s email address. Use the “search” feature to find it quickly. Below the email address will be a line of text. This is either your child’s email or Facebook password.
Log into your child’s Facebook account. Use her email address and the password found. If the password does not work, return to the keylogger and find the next instance of her email address; use the line of text below that as the password.
Locate the conversation that you wish to record and hit the “Prt Sc,” or “print screen” button on your keyboard.
Record the conversation by storing the screen capture to your computer. Open a paint program. Hit the “shift” and “insert” keyboard buttons at the same time. The conversation will appear in the program. Click on “file” and “save” to save the conversation.
Consider having a one-on-one discussion with your child about the dangers of Facebook before using a roundabout way of monitoring his activities. Explain your concerns about Facebook and how you would prefer he avoids engaging in certain behaviors. Overall, a heart-to-heart talk is more likely to strengthen the bonds between parent and child than is a spying program.
Ask your child for his Facebook password and the email address your child uses to access his Facebook account.
Log in to your child’s Facebook account using the credentials provided to you by your teen. Once you have access to the account, click the “settings” button in the upper right corner of the page and select “account settings” from the dropdown menu.
Click the “edit” link to the right of “password.” Enter the current password in the top box. Create a new and different password in the middle and bottom boxes. This should be a password that your child does not know. Click “save changes.”
Click the “edit” link to the right of “email.” Click “add another email” and enter your own email address in this box. Enter the Facebook password to save the new settings and click “save changes.” Find the confirmation email Facebook sends you and confirm your email address. This will enable you to receive notification emails from Facebook based on account activity.
Click the “security” tab in the left sidebar. Click “edit” to the right of “login notifications.” Place a checkmark in the “email” box to receive emails notifying you of a login to the account by an unidentified browser. Click “save changes.” Click “edit” to the right of “login approvals.” Place a checkmark in the box to require a security code to access the Facebook account from unknown browsers. Click “save changes” – this will make it impossible for your child to log in to the account from an unknown browser.
Contact Facebook if your child is under 13 to file a report of an underage child. Provide the URL of the child’s timeline, the name of the child, the email address connected with the account, the age of the child and your relationship with the child. Upon receiving and confirming the information, Facebook will delete the account.