Parent Guides To Social Media

No Underage Facebooking

Did you know that no one under the age of 13 is permitted to join Facebook? However, there is no real way for Facebook to truly enforce it, because anyone can lie about their year of birth. You need to make sure that your child stays away from Facebook until 13 AND until you are comfortable with him or her having an account. There are measures put in place, such as reporting an underage child, but ultimately, it should be the parent who has the say on when and if that account gets created.

Have they shared too much personal information online?

Talk to them about who they’ve shared the information with and assess the risk it poses to your child. You can also ask your child to remove the information from their account and help them understand how to share safely.

Make your child aware of the potential risks of sharing personal content online such as online grooming or cyberbullying.

Help your child understand how to remove information that they could pose a risk to them. Check that your child has set their social network account to ‘private’ so their shared information can only be seen by people they know. See our ‘how to guides‘ to find out how.

Check Privacy Settings 

Check that your privacy settings for the Internet and Facebook are set to the strictest levels. Depending on which browser you are using, you can adjust the settings directly from the options tab and adjust levels around cookies, third party sites and more. This not only protects the computer user, but also the computer from the threat of viruses. Checking your Facebook privacy settings is easy as well. Simply go here to ensure that you are up to speed on its privacy policy and make any changes you deem necessary.

Are They Sharing Inappropriate Selfies

Discuss the reasons why they feel the need to share such images and the potential long-term impact this could have on them if the pictures are used without their consent.

Peer pressure and the desire for attention can be reasons why some children feel the need to share inappropriate photos with their online friends.

Encourage them to share content that focuses on what they like to do rather than what they look like. Make sure they know that it is illegal to share naked images of themselves. We’d advise to wait until they’re emotionally mature to understand why they shouldn’t share such image before allowing them on social media. Talk to them about the importance of spending time with real friends without feeling the need to gain approval by getting a certain number of ‘likes’ on a photo they’ve shared.

Monitor the Pictures Your Child Posts Online

In an ideal world, your child would never post a photo of herself online, but that might not be entirely realistic. If she wants to share photos with her friends via email or a social networking site, be sure you know exactly which pictures are being posted. Make sure the content of the photo is completely innocuous and that no identifiable locales in the background are noticeable.