How to Protect Your Kids on Social Media
You may marvel at your child’s prowess on social media and have no problem with them sharing pictures and comments online, but you should be aware of the risks that social networks pose for kids. Just because they’re not physically coming in contact with the people they’re exchanging information with doesn’t mean that they won’t become subject to some of the dangers of the digital world.
With the millions of children on social media, they face some of the same discomforts you faced as a child, except that it’s happening to them online. Many children are battling bullying, which is termed cyberbullying online. They also deal with peer pressure online, so they’re pushed into “oversharing” or posting images and video that are inappropriate for online viewing. Other problems involve online predators who run rampant on social networks.
Now that many parents are aware of these social media hazards, these are some of the precautions they should take before letting their children become “social” online.
Get Educated About Social Media
As a parent, you should check out the various social networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine and Tumbler. They all operate differently and all pose unique risks. To give yourself a better understanding set up a profile on these platforms, so you can see how they function for yourself.
Establish an Age Limit
Most social media sites have age requirements (at least 13 and up) to create a profile. These sites must follow The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which protects children under the age of 13 from having their personal information collected by companies without their parents permission. But if you want to allow your children to use social media at a younger age, take the necessary precautions.
Talk to You Kids About The Dangers and Consequences of Social Media
Kids can be very naïve when it concerns social media. Many don’t realize that millions of strangers can see what they’re doing online and access their personal information to use it for ill-intended purposes. Parents should warn their children about posting images and revealing their location online, along with the possibility of cyberbullying and what they should do if it should happen to them.
Keep The Computer in a Common Area
Put the computer in a spot that allows you to check on your child’s activity online. If your child knows you’re watching, they may think twice before posting an inappropriate photo or comment online.
Make some ground rules
Set time limits and encourage proper social media behavior.
Maintain Your Child’s Privacy Settings
Check your child’s privacy settings and make sure that there’s an adequate amount of security on your child’s profile.