Using Facebook search to find criminal offenders may sound a bit extreme but it is a useful tool to find potential predators before they hurt anyone else. Many sexual offenders prey on the fact that people just accept friend requests without actually knowing the people they are inviting in to their lives. Facebook holds a lot of our personal information, from our cellular numbers to our email addresses and therefore is a predators paradise. Although facebook has developed a tool that allows you to report people to the people at Facebook if you do not know them and they are trying to add you as a friend, this is not always effective in preventing predators.
Predators prey on the innocent and naïve in order to convince them to meet them. From here, they can sexually assualt or even commit murder. Many serial killers have begun operating through social networking in order to find their newest victims. As scary and as horrible as this may sound, people need to start realising that leaving their social networking profiles open for all people to view is not a good idea. This is where serious parental control needs to come in. You can search through your children’s profiles and check if they are friends with anyone who you may find suspicious. From here you can advise your children about the risks of being friends with randoms on their social networking profiles and convince them to delete and ignore requests from people that they do not know personally.
Another way in which parents using Facebook search to find crminal offenders can be helpful, is to report any suspicious behaviour to Facebook admin even if it is from your account and not your childs account Alternatively you can report any suspicious behaviour to the police who may be able to investigate it further.
Searching on Facebook is really simple. You simply need to register an account with Facebook and you can use the search toolbar on the social networking site to search for registered sex offenders. The only problem with this is that due to the fact that people have the same name, you may find someone who you think is a sex offender and who just has the same unfortunate name. It can therefore sometimes be better to leave the searching and policing of criminal offenders to the police.
If you have a registered Facebook account, here are some tips to protect yourself against any criminal activity occuring:
- Ensure that your profile is blocked to people other than your friends
- Ensure that if you have children that you teach them about criminal offenders and sexual predators
- Ensure that you do not put all of your private information on Facebook such as your cellular number, your home address, or any other personal information. If you do, make sure that only your close friends can view this information. With the new Facebook format, you can put friends on to certain lists and restrict the amount of information that each group has access too. This should simplify the process of ensuring your safety.
Facebook and social networking sites have become a part of our lives. And as a result the modes through which criminals operate have changed to where people are most. It is therefore imperative that you do not give out personal information or arrange a meeting with anyone by yourself. If you do plan to on meeting someone in person that you have met online, always ensure that you let someone know where you are going to and the best option is to take someone with you.