Monday, January 30, 2012

Google+ is opening up its network to allow teenagers to use social networks.  In a post on the Google+ blog, Google VP Bradley Horowitz explains the ways that teenagers can protect themselves using the various services on G+.

Google has also released a few specific settings for teenagers on the network as well as the “Google+ Teen Safety Guide” which explains how to use the network.  You can see the teenage guide here to check out some of the new features.  One of the interesting ones is the Hangout kickout.  If a teenager is in a video/audio Hangout and a person enters the chat who is not in one of their circles, the teenager is booted out of the Hangout until they either add the person to their network.  Not exactly an impenetrable solution, but a small gesture to educate teenagers and one that parents may appreciate.

 So what do you think?  Is 13 too young to be on social networks?  Most teenagers I know already use social networks, so I think reaching out to them with enhanced security is probably better than having them join and lie about their age.