How to Protect Your Child on Social Media

The world we live in is a truly digital one, and children today won’t have known any different. Whereas we might remember a time before everyone had a mobile device, or even before everyone had a home computer and there was no internet available to all, our children won’t. They will have grown up surrounded by social media and people using it regularly around them. So, it makes sense that they will want to be a part of this digital world too, once they are old enough. 

Yet this can be problematic. There are potential dangers online that can cause many issues, and parents are always going to want to protect their child from anything dangerous. Banning social media entirely isn’t always the best option – it will often lead to secretive accounts, and then, if there is a problem, the child or teen will have no one to turn to. So, allow the account, but read on to find out how to protect your child on social media as best you can. 

Educate Yourself 

Depending on your likes and dislikes, you might not be entirely savvy when it comes to social media yourself. If that is the case, it is going to be challenging to help your child navigate the dangers. Therefore, it is wise to educate yourself as much as you can about social media and read about both its good and bad points. This way, you will understand exactly what it is your child is signing up for. You may also want to learn about ways to help your child if they have already had problems online, and is an excellent place to find out more. 

Even if you use social media, you might not be using the same platforms as your child. In fact, many teenagers today are ignoring the more prevalent channels like Facebook and Twitter and are using Snapchat or Tiktok instead. This is because their parents are going to have Facebook accounts but may not have an account on a newer social media channel. Know as much as you can to understand the potential dangers your child might face. 

Check Privacy Settings 

Having the right privacy settings is an excellent way to stay safe online. Once your child has their social media account, you need to ensure they have kept everything as private as possible, letting only their friends see what they are posting. 

You will often find that social media sites, aware that privacy is an issue, will add updates to ensure that the best settings can be used. However, in some cases, this won’t update automatically, and this is why you will need to keep on top of things, and manually update where possible. 

Talk to Them 

One of the best methods to help keep your child safe online is to talk to them about the dangers they might face and how to deal with them. You can make sure you teach them how to be safe online, and some of the factors you will want to tell them about include:

  • Not posting up revealing images of themselves or their friends
  • Not giving away personal information (including their address)
  • Not friending strangers 

You mustn’t simply tell your child not to do something, however. They need to know the reasons why they shouldn’t post personal and private information online, and that will help them remember not to do it. 

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