Your Kids and Social Media Safety

From keeping you up to date on current events to giving you the tools you need to stay in touch with friends and family, social media can be great! But that doesn’t mean it comes without risks. Before you let your teens activate their first accounts, make sure to educate them and take these steps to keep them safe.

Set an age limit. For most social platforms, the minimum age requirement to create a profile is 13 years old. But it’s up to you to make your own household rules. So do some thinking and set an age limit that you’re comfortable with.

Draft up a contract. Once your kids are old enough, create a list of rules on when and for what they can use social media. Then have an open discussion of why you’re enforcing these rules and sign the contract as a family. This way they know exactly what’s expected.

Prioritize privacy. Now that you’ve settled on the rules, it’s time to let them create their profile! Show you’re excited for them, but make sure they know that safety and privacy are a priority. Encourage them to be responsible and check their settings to make sure they’re set at the strictest levels.

Keep an eye out. Request to be their friend on Facebook or follow them on Twitter so you can keep a quiet eye on them. Just remember to keep your distance and don’t say anything that might embarrass them on their public page — writing on their wall with their childhood nickname isn’t going to win you any points.

Clue them in. Teach them about things like click-bait, profile hacks and sales scams. This way they won’t fall for “too-good-to-be-true” pop-up ads or accept fake friendship requests that could compromise their safety.

Educate yourself. Social media is constantly changing and odds are your teens are in the know. So get on their level and stay up to date on the latest platforms, features and apps. This way you know exactly what they’re using and how. Plus you’ll up your cool factor. Win-win!

Keep communication open. It’s important that your kids feel comfortable coming to you with anything — especially in a time when online bullying can be a big problem. So encourage them to keep you in the loop and talk to you if something is bothering them.

No matter what platform the kids are using these days, it’s important they keep safety top of mind. So do your best to educate them and get the peace of mind you deserve knowing they’ll be responsible with their new social profiles.


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