After updating its Safety Center and Bullying Prevention Hub, Facebook on Tuesday evening introduced a Parent’s Portal. The portal provides parent specific advice as part of the Safety Center and includes guides for parents on how Facebook works.

People will only come to Facebook if it’s a safe place to connect and share with the people they care about

It is only recently that adult-invasion into the social media world has unfolded. Today’s parents are not just tech savvy, but also guide their children on how to access social networking websites. To ensure that parents around the world get the most out of their experience and help their child navigate, the social networking website has launched the Parent’s Portal in collaboration with parents, teens and safety experts around the world.

“People will only come to Facebook if it’s a safe place to connect and share with the people they care about. Hence we invest in technology, controls and grassroots education programs to help keep our community safe,” told Ankhi Das, the Public Policy Director, India, South and Central Asia, told SheThePeople.TV.

Talking about women’s safety on the platform as cyber bullying and cyber crimes are a rage today, she said, “Women’s safety on our platform is very important to us. Every day we see women do amazing things on our platform — start businesses, help other women, challenge social bias.”

She added, “We want Facebook to remain a source of economic and social empowerment for women in India. Hence, we work with a variety of non-profits, academics and our community in India to help shape our products, policies and community education programs and create a safe space for women to communicate, share and grow.”

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The Parent’s Portal includes guides for parents and tips for talking to your kids about staying safe online and resources from experts around the world. It is available in over 55 languages, including 11 in India, is mobile-friendly and includes step-by-step videos.

It is a commendable effort put together  keeping in mind the safety of the kids and parents’ concerns – Neela Kaishik of GurgaonMoms

Talking about parents monitoring their children’s activities online, Das is of the view, “As a parent to a teenage son, I tend to find open and transparent communication works better than monitoring and preaching. Like most parenting duties, we must not only protect our children but also help them develop the skills and resilience that they need to protect themselves.”

Talking about the expert help into making the portal, she said, “We’ve created this portal with the support of the Center for Social Research, which has been working towards empowering women and girls since 1983, and with Learning Links Foundation which has been working with students and youth since 2002.”

We reached out to a few parental support groups to find out what they think about the initiative. Neela Kaushik of GurgaonMoms said, “It is a commendable effort put together keeping in mind the safety of the kids and the parents’ concerns. It aims to create a partnership with the parents and disseminates important safety information through them to the children and help keep kids safe in the online space.”

I particularly liked the collaborative effort of the portal to create safety between children and parents rather than a top down or covert approach – Parul Ohri of MyCity4Kids

She added, “While the resources are available, I am hoping that more parents become aware that something like this exists. This is paramount for the success of course. One of the strategies is to educate the child and the parent with resources, the next step should be to build in features that ensure safety of the kids. The feature should empower the kids to make the right decision online. For example, before the kid approves a request, a question ‘Do you really know this person?’”

Parul Ohri of MyCity4Kids said, “Our children have been born into the digital age and it is shortsighted to try and exclude them from being an active part of it. Of course, it is up to us to build safeguards to ensure responsible and safe usage and this initiative by Facebook is a good effort in that direction.

She said she particularly liked the collaborative effort of the portal to create safety between children and parents rather than a top down or covert approach.”