Facebook loosens rules to let teens publicly share posts - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Facebook loosens rules to let teens publicly share posts

Posted: Updated:
  • More newsMore>>

  • Malaysia asks world to pray for missing plane clue

    Malaysia asks world to pray for missing plane clue

    Saturday, April 19 2014 5:21 AM EDT2014-04-19 09:21:49 GMT
    The search coordination center says an underwater robotic submarine is expected to finish searching a narrowed down area of the Indian Ocean seabed for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane within the next week,...More >>
    A Malaysian official on Saturday asked the world to "pray hard" for a clue to help find Flight 370, while authorities said a robotic submarine was expected to finish searching a patch of the Indian Ocean seabed within a...More >>
  • Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

    Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

    Saturday, April 19 2014 2:45 AM EDT2014-04-19 06:45:14 GMT
    People who have accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's...More >>
    People who have accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's...More >>
  • Auburn woman shot during domestic dispute

    Auburn woman shot during domestic dispute

    Saturday, April 19 2014 12:05 AM EDT2014-04-19 04:05:44 GMT
    Auburn police say a man is facing charges for allegedly shooting a woman during a domestic dispute. Johnnie L. Forte, 59, has been charged with second degree domestic violence. Auburn police officersMore >>
    Auburn police say a man is facing charges for allegedly shooting a woman during a domestic dispute.More >>
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Facebook is making some big changes and letting younger users share their updates publicly.

Effective immediately, now everyone will be able to see what teenagers are posting on Facebook. This change is raising the risks of minors leaving a digital trail that could lead to big trouble, if they're not careful.

"It used to be they could only share their posts with friends or friends of friends, now its open to the public," said Scott Driscoll with Internet Safety Concepts.

Facebook is relaxing privacy rules for teens and 13 to 17 year olds have the option to share photos and comments with the general Facebook public.

The company officials said the change will help them compete with other sites such as Twitter and Tumblr that don't prevent teens from posting publicly. They're also banking on appealing to advertisers now that teens information will be out there for everyone to see.

"Sometimes we drop our guard with how much information we share," Driscoll said.

Driscoll said information such as pictures and locations can get into the wrong hands.

"The average age of a Facebook user is 38 to 41, and now they're dropping security settings," Driscoll said. "They weren't perfect, but at least there was something. Now there's nothing."

As a protective measure, Facebook will warn minors before every post that they are exposing themselves to a broader audience as long as their settings remain public. Teens can change their default settings to be more restrictive.

Driscoll said parents should be involved by sitting down with their child and "see how they're posting things."

"And make sure every time that they post something, it's set to private or to friends only," Driscoll said. 

Driscoll also advises parents to be acquainted with all the social media apps kids use such as Instagram and Twitter.

He also reminds parents that children under the age of 13 are not officially allowed to sign up for Facebook

Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow