Much like Bing or Google, the Social Scan feature of uKnowKids is essentially a search engine. Like all search engines, Social Scan results are highly dependent on the search criteria provided by a user and on how searchable a site owner have configured their website. A given search with any search too will not necessarily pull up everything that exists about a related topic.

In the case of Social Scan, the search results are heavily influenced by the information you provide when you create or update your child’s uKnowKids profile.

If you are not receiving search results that meet your expectations, we recommend that you adjust the search criteria – just like you would do if you were using Bing or Google. It is likely that the search criteria that you provided does not match the “searchable” information within one or more social network. For example, some social networks allow us to search for users by name and other attributes, while other social networks will expect an email address or screen name as a valid search criteria.

To adjust the Social Scan search criteria, expand the Social Scan Settings directly from the Social Scan page of your dashboard. Simply toggle the Settings arrow to expose the fields used to refine the search results.

Social Scan is also a reminder that you may not be aware of all aspects of your child’s digital life. Sometimes uKnowKids is unable to find a child’s social network profiles because the child is using email addresses or screen names their parents are unfamiliar with or the child may even be using a fake name. All search engines, (Bing, Google, uKnowKids’ Social Scan, etc.) will have trouble yielding accurate search results if you are unable to provide valid search criteria.

If you know your child is using a specific social network, not finding a profile may actually be a good outcome. Your child may have made a safe, smart choice to properly utilize a site’s privacy settings in order to avoid oversharing in the public domain. This is a safer and more responsible approach to using a social network compared to allowing one’s profile to be visible to the public. In other cases, a social network will only show profiles of people claiming to be over 18 years old. If you don’t see your child’s profile in those cases (Facebook or Flickr for example), it means your child has not misrepresented their age in order to appear older that their actual age. That’s good news.

Consider talking to your child about the importance of not over-sharing, using privacy settings and making those choices which will limit their private information in the public domain.

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