Protect your child as they use social media sites.
If your child hasn’t already expressed an interest in joining social media sites, you can be sure that he or she will do soon. In this day and age, kids are getting online younger and younger. Although most sites (like Facebook) have a strict over 13 years-old policy, it can be easily navigated by entering a false birthdate. When used appropriately, social networks are a great place for young people to demonstrate their creativity, keep in touch with friends, and meet new people with similar interests. As a parent, there is plenty you can do to ensure your child’s experience is both safe and fun.
- Educate yourself on what the various social networks and apps do. You’ll feel more confident in your child using a site that you are familiar with.
- Agree with your child on when they can join a social networking site. Create their profile with them so that you can walk them through the process and learn their login details.
- Help them set privacy setting at the strongest level. Sites can change privacy settings so make sure you stay up to date with them.
- Teach your child on how to block people and online games. Support them in knowing what they can do if someone makes them comfortable.
- Ensure your child knows now to share any personal information online, such as their address, phone number, password, and school.
- Explain that friends should be people they know. People who they meet online may not be who they say they are. Talk to them about the risks involved with chatting with people they don’t know.
- Set rules about what they should and shouldn’t post.
- Keep screen time to a minimum. Set a time limit on how long they can be on social media, and be sure they aren’t scrolling through the sites at night when the lit screen can disrupt their sleep.