Tips and Red Flags to watch out for on Social Media

Social Media can be fun for you and your kids. As connected as everyone is these days, it can be a full-time job monitoring your kids social media use. Here are some tips to use when your kids are ready for social media.

Tips

  1. Educate yourself and your kids about social media
  2. get a head start and join any social media platforms your kids are on or want to join
  3. teach your kids about posting
  4. let your kids know the importance of privacy
  5. Guard your location – disable location services on your phones and don’t post your location on your posts.

As fast as technology is changing, so is social media. It can be tough to keep up with your kids social media use – here are some red flags you should be aware of once your kids jump on social media.

 

Red Flags Parents Should Know About

Ads and in-app purchases
Many apps provide advertising based on items that you’ve purchased including Instagram and Facebook. Be aware that the ads are also served to you based on preferences and things you’ve viewed previously on social media. Set limits on what your kids can buy and have access to.

Age Inappropriate Content
All social media apps have user-generated content not appropriate for kids. Many apps are easy to browse users that your kids don’t necessarily follow – like the search feature on Instagram. Show your kids how easy it is to search for content that isn’t appropriate and also show them how easy it is to flag content to avoid seeing it in the future.

Cyber Bullying
Make your kids aware of cyber-bullying if they don’t know what it is already.. Discuss what it means, Make sure your child understands how to report and block other users

Location Tracking and Sharing
Make your kids aware of location tracking and sharing and let them know potential consequences of showing the location they are in when making posts to social media. Such as checking in on vacation and letting strangers know no one is at your home

Public Default Settings
All social media apps have their settings in a such a way to make all posts public. As soon as your kids get on social media, browse through the privacy settings and make sure they are what you feel comfortable with.

Real-time Video Streaming
New real-time streaming on Instagram and Facebook invite potential strangers to join live video chats with your kids. Make your kids aware of the potential consequences of these features.

Chat Rooms
DMs or Direct Messages make places for private chats on social media that aren’t posted publicly. Make your kids aware of possible inappropriate conversations that could occur in that forum.

Temporary Pictures and Videos
Stories in Instagram and now Facebook give off the idea that the content posted in temporary but it is not. Anything your kids posts to social media is permanently archived and as a result some of these posts could have consequences.