There’s no denying that there are many benefits to the increasingly modern and digital world we live in. However, for all the advantages it brings to our lives, including that of our children, it also creates more areas where we must be careful and cautious of their activity and how they use apps and online platforms, especially social media. Whether its cyberbullying or sexual predators, children having untapped access to these kinds of sites and apps have serious risks.
Therefore, social media has both advantages and disadvantages, but to ensure your children are always safe using them, we’ve put together a list of tips you can follow.
Learn as Much as You Can About Social Media Platforms and Apps
If you’re old enough, you probably remember the time when it was just Myspace and Facebook. However, as social media has become a more integral part of our lives, there is a whole world of other sites, apps and platforms that you need to be aware of, because it’s likely that your kids will know more about them already.
Some of the most popular include:
Set Age Limits for Your Child Using Certain Social Media Sites
When learning more about the social media options there are out there, its wise to also check them the age requirement for them. There are many that do not allow users to create accounts unless they are over the age of 13. Some allow the possibility of children setting up an account if they have the permission of their parents.
Ensure Your Child’s Profile is Set to Private
If unchecked and public, a social media account can allow anyone, even people your children don’t know, to interact with them. That is very obviously very dangerous. With most sites and apps, you can set accounts and profiles to be private. Meaning only their friends can see the content they post and interact with them.
As children can be incredibly wily, you need to be ever vigilant and check their privacy settings regularly, just in case they’ve loosened it up a little.
Help Them Create a Strong Password
Hackers and other cyber criminals looking to access accounts are often given a relatively easy job due to the simple and common passwords people choose. It can be hard to remember passwords, which is why people, especially children often opt for simple ones. In order to ensure that their accounts are safe and secure though, you need to sit down with them and create as strong a password as possible. Good, strong passwords are those that contain upper- and lower-case words, symbols and numbers.
Monitor What They Post
The last thing you want is your child posting something that could put their safety at risk or even just their reputation among their peers and at school. So, carefully monitor the status updates, pics and videos they post.
Teach them to Not Accept Friend Requests from People They Don’t Know
This is common-sense, but still worth highlighting. There are people out there who use social media as a way of stalking and preying on people, like children or simply to steal sensitive information. Therefore, to ensure your children remain safe on social media apps, stop them from accepting friend requests from strangers.