If your child is using social media, it’s important to ensure that they are using it safely. Here are our top tips for keeping your child safe online!
- Make sure your child knows to avoid posting personal information online, and if the social networking site requires personal details for account set up, keep these private so that only they can see it
- Stress to them this: if you wouldn’t tell a stranger something in person, don’t post it online! Once a status, tweet, or picture is posted on social media, you no longer have control over it, and anybody can get their hands on it. Even if an individual messages you, and they seem perfectly nice, do not reveal personal information such as where you live, where you go to school, where you’re going on holiday, contact details etc.
- Ensure your child understands what location services do, and talk to them about the risks of sharing their location online. If the location services on a phone is switched on, apps like Instagram automatically track where you are when you post a picture. Additionally, ‘checking in’ is common among teens using Facebook, this not only tells their close friends where they are, when they are there, it informs anyone that is able to see their own, or their tagged friends where they are at that given time, making your child vulnerable to predators and bullies.
- Tell your child to only friend, or accept people that they know in person. Not everyone online is who they say they are and many take advantage of children’s’ trusting nature.
- If your child does befriend or talk to people they have never met online, speak to them about the potential dangers and ensure they never meet up with a person that they met online.
- Teach your child how to block and report others online. If your child is exposed to any inappropriate or threatening posts or images, let them know that it is vital that they report the individual(s) to the site owner, and tell you, immediately.