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Child Safety Controls on Social Media

Amber Brandt  |  April 03, 2023
Now that social media platforms have existed for more than 20 years, we’re no stranger to the ways they’ve improved our lives. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter all help us stay connected with friends and family, find entertainment, share information, and even make a living. But we all know there are inherent risks and dangers as well.
Misinformation is rampant, societal pressures are intense, phishing, and cyber bullying are at an all-time high – for children, teens, and adults. (And that’s not even mentioning the world of online gaming!) Now, more than ever, parents need to make sure their family’s devices are secure, managing content through parental controls, and keeping a watchful eye and ear to protect their children on these accounts.
The first (and most important) thing you can do is talk with your child about the risks. Explain how to avoid revealing too much on the internet, teach social media safety tips to your children and teens, and outline how to recognize red flags.

The next thing you can do is beef up protections:
  1. Use a parental control app. Most apps designed for parents of social media-active kids offer the same basic set of monitoring features. Typically, they allow you to read texts, view photos, and peruse the apps that are installed on your child’s device. Other apps like mSpy or Bark are more advanced and can give you real-time data, record keystrokes and more, even remotely. For a reliable review of the apps available, visit Parental Control Now.
  2. Research apps. Maybe you feel like you just can’t seem to keep up with all the apps and games that are available. No problem, this site has outlined which ones are the most dangerous and why.
  3. Adjust built-in parental controls. Most social media apps have settings that are native parental controls that can be adjusted according to your personal needs.
    1. Snapchat. Here’s an article NPR shared last year about Snapchat’s newest safety rollouts. Click here for a step-by-step process of accessing and adjusting the controls within the app.
    2. Instagram. Click here to download a guide on how to make IG safer for kids, start important conversations with them, and control settings within the app.
    3. TikTok. Click here to adjust account safety and privacy settings for your teen.

At the end of the day, one of the best things we can do to ensure our children have a healthy and safe relationship with social media is to do our part – putting protections in place and modeling a good example ourselves.

The amount of time we spend on social media, the way we talk and post online with strangers and friends, and even how we talk about the effects social media has on us personally, all matter. Our children are always watching and listening… and it’s our job to help them develop healthy behaviors as well.

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