Social Media Tips for Kids
Parents worry about their kids all the time, including introducing social media into their kid’s life. There is good reason for your parents to be worried. There are many different reasons why social media can be dangerous. More common threats include cyber bullying, inappropriate content, being befriended by strangers, and remembering that any post, even deleted ones, have the potential to stay there forever.
Here are a few tips you should always consider when engaging with social media platforms:
Be nice: Just as in person-to-person contact, mean behavior is not OK or nice. Treat everyone with respect, kindness, and consideration, especially when you are posting a comment or photo of others.
Check your privacy settings: Most social media sites default to a public exposure of your account. Always set your privacy settings where only friends can see what you post, because you never know whom your friends are friends with online.
Only accept requests from people you know: Play it safe and only connect with people you know. While friend requests from strangers often turn out to be spam bots, fake profiles by those you know are also created for cyber bullying.
You can never really delete something published on the internet: Even though you can delete a post, picture, comment, etc., someone may have taken a screen shot and can share the screenshot on numerous social media platforms within seconds.
Avoid using location services: Disable location services when posting photos. Avoid posting photos while on your vacation, wait until you are home, that way people you are connected to won’t know you are away.
Never meet up with someone you meet online: Tell an adult if you get a request to meet up, share provocative pictures, personal information like your address or phone number, or any requests that make you feel uncomfortable.
Pause first: Always take a pause before hitting “Enter” for a post or photo. Think about what you have said or what photo you are posting. Would you be embarrassed if your grandmother read or saw it? Have you asked permission from your friend to post that photo?
Parents often wonder when the right time is for their child to have their first phone.
There are a few basic guidelines parents can consider when helping their kids navigate social media safely.
Adding parental controls and securing connected devices is important to help prevent children in the house from accessing inappropriate content.