With the number of teens that are logging onto Facebook on a regular basis, there are so many concerns about predators taking advantage of these innocents. Facebook has stepped up to respond to these concerns with its new “Friend Verifier”.
The Friend Verifier goes through the teen’s friends’ list and sees if there is a connection with the National Sex Offender Registry. This powerful tool can go a long way towards giving parents a bit of peace of mind, particularly as they watch their teens garner a friends’ list that runs several hundreds of people long. Some parents recognize that the friends’ list is a popularity contest of sorts; it’s the concerns that everyone on the list can suddenly see each bit of information about these teens that sparks particular worry.
The Friend Verifier can be used by parents and kids alike so that they can check out the individuals on each other’s friends’ lists, and the results can cause some concern. For instance, if the name turns up yellow after a scan, that just means the person has the same name as someone on the National Sex Offender Registry. If the name comes up orange, the name and location is the same. If the name comes up red, the name, location and date of birth are the same as someone on the National Sex Offender Registry.
Unfortunately, for Canadian users of Facebook, this is not much help. However, teens in the States have already admitted to appreciating the extra safety and peace of mind this app offers. At the very least, the app offers users the realization that their name may, indeed, match up with one on a National Sex Offender Registry. In incorporating things like location as well, users of the Friend Verifier app can realize that perhaps not everyone on their friends’ list is as safe as they originally believed – or at the very least, there may be cause for concern.
To access the Friend Verifier:
- Go to www.friendverifier.com;
- Click “Scan Facebook Friends”;
- Read the results.
Now, this does not mean that every scan should lead to immediate concerns, but it certainly has done a lot to increase awareness for those teens and parents who have previously believed themselves and their friends to be immune from the dangers of sex offenders. This may or may not be good news for businesses as well; businesses should consider scanning their friends lists to consider just who may be accessing their business’ information. Businesses, after all, may be equally exposed and vulnerable as teens.