Technology and Your Child: Our 7 Tips for Social Media Safety
These days, many children get access to internet-connected devices even before they can read and write. This is because we live in the digital era, and the internet is now an integral component of our world. However, although the ability to connect to the world through the internet has many benefits, it comes with many safety concerns. For instance, social media can expose your child to predators and bullies. Besides, your child can misuse media platforms, which could lead to severe consequences. If your child is using social media or asking you to allow them to, below are some social media safety tips you can count on to keep them safe.
Learn More about Social Media
Gone are the days when Myspace and Facebook were the only social media sites. As a parent whose child wants to use social media, you need to familiarize yourself with popular apps and sites for kids. Some of them include WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, and Reddit, among others. Understanding how these sites work will help you guide your child on online safety.
Know the Age Limits
Most social media sites require a child to be about thirteen years old to create an account independently, in line with the prevailing children's privacy protection laws. As such, you need to familiarize yourself with age restrictions to keep your child on the right side of the law.
Check Privacy Settings
Once your child has created a social media account, you need to check its privacy settings regularly. Keeping their profile private will ensure that only people that your child knows can see content on their profile.
Educate your Child on the Dangers of Sharing Personal Information
We recommend letting your child know that strangers should not be trusted, no matter how friendly they appear. Therefore, you need to discourage your child from sharing personal information such as residential addresses, phone numbers, and check-ins.
Ensure the Account Has a Strong Password
If your child is just starting to use social media, it is probably the first time they are creating a password. Therefore, you need to encourage them to use a password that is hard for anyone to guess. This will go a long way in keeping your child's account and device safe from hackers and other cyber-criminals.
Discourage Them from Accepting Friend Requests from Strangers
Social media for kids should only be for connecting with people they already know outside the internet. Therefore, you should discourage your child from accepting friendships from people they don't know.
Encourage your Child to Talk to You Freely
Of course, you cannot monitor what your child is doing 24/7. Therefore, you need to let your child know that it is okay for them to let you know their experiences. Keeping an open dialogue with your child will go a long way in helping you understand how social media is affecting them.
In a nutshell, it is apparent that the internet is now a part of our life, and it is not possible for you to create a wall between this modern technology and your child. Instead, you should purpose to help your child use technology safely.