Social media has become a central part of the lives of today’s digital youth, forming a platform for children to communicate with friends and learn about the world around them. In fact, research has shown that 59% of children have used a social network by age 10, and over half of all adolescents log on to a social networking site more than once a day.
As the time children spend on social media increases, so do the dangers they’re exposed to. In fact 12% of teens say that they witness cruel behaviour on social media frequently. Bullying, harassment & contact with strangers are just a few of these dangers and are a worry for most parents.
As parents, the first thing you should do to protect your kids is to ensure they have the right privacy settings in place on their social media accounts. In this guide we’ll walk you through how to apply basic privacy settings on Facebook and Twitter.
Protecting you children’s Tweets
On twitter your children can select “protect my tweets”, so that only their approved followers can see their tweets. Simply follow the instructions below:
- Sign in to Twitter
- Click on your profile picture in the top right hand corner of your browser.
- A drop down menu will then appear
- Select the “settings” option.
- Next, select the “Security and privacy” option from the left hand menu
- A menu will then appear offering various security and privacy options.
- In the privacy settings we recommend that your kids check the box that’s says: “Protect my Tweets”. This will ensure that strangers and future employers will not be able to see their tweets.
- We also recommend that they select the box titled “do not allow anyone to tag me in photos” or “only allow people I follow to tag me in photos”. This will ensure they aren’t tagged in any unwanted or upsetting photos by strangers.
- To further protect their privacy you should un-check the box titled “Add a location to my tweets”. From this menu you’ll also be able to delete any past location information that twitter has stored about you.
Setting privacy settings on Facebook
- Sign into your Facebook account.
- Select the downwards arrow in the top right hand corner.
- A drop down menu will appear.
- Select “Settings” from the menu.
- A new screen will appear.
- In the left hand menu select the “privacy” option.
- A screen will then appear to the right offering various Privacy options.
- For children we recommend working through the list and selecting the strictest privacy settings.
- In the “who can see my stuff?” section select “edit” and ensure that “friends” is selected. This will ensure that only approved friends can see your posts.
- In this screen you can also select who can send your child friend requests. We recommend selecting “friends of Friends” for this.
- We also recommend selecting “Strict Filtering” for messages. This means that messages from unconnected users will be filtered into your child’s ‘other’ inbox.
- You can also select who can look you up using your email address & phone number, as well whether you want search engines to link to your timeline. We recommended selecting ‘no’ for this option.
As parents we understand how difficult it can be to monitor your kids in the constantly changing world of social media. Hopefully this post has helped you make Facebook and Twitter a bit safer for your kids. With HomeHalo you’ll be able to limit social media use by setting time limits. You can also activate Homework Mode which lets your kids use the web for homework, whilst distractions like social media and gaming are blocked. To find out more about how HomeHalo can protect your kids’ online, click HERE.