Teens and social media: 5 basic tips on how to keep them safe
There is no denying that technology and social media is going to play a large part in our children's lives.
I mean – all we have to do is look at ourselves and how much time we, as adults, are spending on our own devices.
However, we didn't grow up with this virtual world quite so omnipresent, and did most of our socialising outside of devices and in the real world. Which I think was all sorts of healthy. The reality, unfortunately, is that this might not be the case for our children.
Thankfully, there are steps that we as parents can take to ensure our kids' safety when they use social media. Obviously, as parents, we know our children best, and can determine the rules we set and how right they are for our own kids – and these five guidelines might just be a good place to start:
1. Set some ground rules
Before you give your kids access to their own phone and social media accounts, set some rules. These will obviously be determined by your kids' ages, and can include the type of content your kids can access and share, when they can use their devices and consequences for breaking the rules.
2. Engage strict privacy settings
All the devices our kids use should have strict privacy settings. These settings include who sees online social media posts and virus blocking on all devices.
3. Insist on some or full access to devices and accounts
Most teens will no doubt argue that this step is unnecessary, but they are less likely to share inappropriate content and more likely to stay safe when they know you will check up on them. Also – stay on top of what social media sites your kids use regularly and talk to them about the pros and cons.
4. Teach kids to protect their online reputation
Kids can be impulsive and may not think about how their social media usage affects their ability to get a job or college entrance in the future.
5. Be a good example
Whether we want them to or not, our kids follow our lead. Let's be a good example in this area as we practice smart online usage and etiquette.