Facebook - risks and tips

On the Internet, too, you should know the "places" where children and young people move. Chat partners are not always who they say they are. There are many so-called "fake profiles" that are created in the name of a person. On these, all information and posts are usually copied in order to be able to claim all kinds of reputation-damaging things in the name of someone else. Often, injured parties only find out about their "second" existence at a very late stage.

These fake profiles can often also be used for cybergrooming. Perpetrators try to establish a trusting relationship with their victims, most of whom are minors, in order to sexually abuse them later on. You should therefore always be aware that sending data is irreversible.

It can have a very disturbing effect on children and young people if they are sent inappropriate content. However, it is also often class chats or the like in which such files are forwarded by the young people. Everyone should be aware that forwarding inappropriate or prohibited content is punishable by law. Even the pictures of last night's party can lead to problems. Everyone has the "right to their own image." Pictures posted without the consent of those depicted can be reported or deleted. 

The apparent anonymity and constant availability of the Internet lowers the inhibition threshold for insults, hatred and bullying. Cyberbullying then often manifests itself in the form of derisive comments on photos or insulting private messages. For the bullied, this is an almost unbearable situation. 

Tips for parents

Often, disputes among friends or a problematic class situation are behind bullying attacks. Talk to your child and inform the teacher if necessary in order to find a solution together.

In general, children and young people should break off contact immediately if the chat partners' questions become unpleasant or they feel pressured. Advise your child at an early stage never to meet an online acquaintance alone.

Everyone has the "right to their own image". Images that are posted without the consent of the person depicted can be reported or deleted. In the worst case, criminal action can also be taken against them.

Using reporting buttons, which are now available on every network, you can report violations such as the creation of fake profiles to the site operator. The scope for action then ranges from warnings to deletion of the perpetrators' profiles to criminal prosecution.

In iOS, it is possible to disable the in-app purchases feature. On Android devices, you can set a pin that is requested before an in-app purchase.