Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives, and children are no exception. According to a survey by Common Sense Media, 72% of teenagers use social media, and 90% of children aged 8-16 use at least one social media platform. While social media can be an excellent way for children to connect with their friends and family, it also poses several risks. As a parent or guardian, you are responsible for protecting your child on social media. ExpressVPN highlights the amount of time young children are spending on the internet and might be helpful for parents to understand things better.
This article will discuss some practical tips for keeping your children safe on social media.
Educate Your Child About Social Media
The first line of defense in keeping your kid safe online is to make sure they know about the hazards associated with using social media. Your kid should know the risks involved with disclosing information about yourself online, including their name, address, phone number, and school. Tell them that anything posted online will exist in perpetuity and may do them damage in the future if they don’t take precautions.
If your kid experiences anything unusual or upsetting while using the internet, they should feel free to speak to you or another trusted adult about it. Talk to your kids about how they should never give out personal information online, including their passwords, their phone numbers, or their friends’ phone numbers. Your kid will be better prepared to use social media securely if you talk to them about the hazards involved.
Set Privacy Settings and Parental Controls
Most social media platforms have privacy settings and parental controls that can be adjusted to limit the information your child shares online. Make sure you review the privacy settings on your child’s social media accounts and set them to the strictest level possible. This will ensure that only their friends and family can see their posts and personal information.
Furthermore, many social media platforms have parental controls that allow you to monitor your child’s activity online. These controls can help you track your child’s friend requests, messages, and posts. You can also limit the amount of time your child spends on social media by setting time restrictions or blocking certain apps.
Encourage Offline Activities
While social media can be a valuable tool for staying connected with friends and family, it is important to encourage your child to engage in offline activities as well. Encourage your child to spend time with friends and family in person, participate in extracurricular activities, and pursue hobbies they enjoy. This will help your child develop a well-rounded life and reduce their dependence on social media.
Monitor Your Child’s Online Activity
Your child’s online activities should be monitored regardless of how secure the service is or how many safety measures you take. Check your child’s postings, messages, and friend requests often, and be informed about the social media sites they’re using. You’ll be able to see any cyberbullying or other questionable behavior this way.
Don’t wait to confront a problem if you see anything troubling in your child’s behavior; instead, have a conversation with them about it. Let your kid know they can come to you for advice and comfort if they’re having trouble dealing with anything seen online, and encourage them to do so.
Lead by Example
As a parent, it is vital to lead by example when it comes to social media use. Set a positive example for your child to use social media responsibly and respectfully. Avoid posting anything that could be considered offensive or inappropriate, and respect other people’s privacy online.
Additionally, ensure you have open and honest conversations with your child about your social media use. Discuss social media’s positive and negative aspects and how you manage your online activity. Setting a positive example can help your child develop healthy social media habits.
Children’s use of social media to stay in touch with their peers and loved ones can be invaluable, but it also comes with some potential dangers. A parent or guardian’s primary duty in the age of social media is to keep their child safe. You can help keep your child safe online by teaching them about the risks, installing parental controls and monitoring their usage. The best way to ensure your child’s safety on social media is through open dialogue and education.