Social media tips for parents

There are many opinions and advice out there for both parents and kids, when it comes to staying safe online. Particularly upon social media platforms.  It can often be hard to know what the right thing to do is when your child is looking to join social media. Here at Enable fibre broadband, we think it is incredibly important to ensure that everyone is using the internet in a safe way, especially our youth.

Because of this we have put together an overview of some of the information that is available online, that we think could be useful when it comes to social media and keeping younger children safe.

  • Age restrictions are the first thing to be aware of. The permitted sign up age to sign up to the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat is 13 years old; this is to decrease the risk of younger children being exposed to possible challenges social media may bring.
  • Educate yourself on the risks and challenges that may be presented to your child on these platforms. There are many, some examples are; Inappropriate content, online bullying, online scams and security issues.
  • Be sure your child understands these hazards and have open conversations with them about the things they can do to protect themselves. Let them know you’re there to help if they run into any trouble, and to make sure they tell you or report the issue if they do come across anything.
  • Let them know your expectations by laying down your own rules about the sorts of tasks and things they can carry out online and upon social media. This will future proof the chances of them running into trouble and will clarify your boundaries.

 

A great resource is the Netsafe website, which teaches people many ways to stay safe online, as well as other online security information. They offer in-depth knowledge that is useful to implement when teaching your child about social media, here are some of their recommendations for you:

 

  1. Keep it locked: Show your child how to set a PIN or password to protect their devices, accounts and private information
  2. Keep it private: Make sure your child doesn’t disclose personal information like their address and that they know how to keep their profiles private
  3. Keep it helpful: Explain to your child that what they do online leaves a digital footprint so they should think twice about what they are doing – before they do it
  4. Keep it real: Talk to your child about how to handle approaches from strangers and why sometimes people pretend to be someone else online
  5. Keep it friendly: Teach your child to be kind and respectful online, and to be careful talking to, or sharing information with, people they don’t know

By starting open conversations and involving yourself in your children’s social media habits, it will hopefully welcome a positive relationship between your child and the many platforms available to them. The more information you provide and the level of assistance you give when setting up the accounts and throughout their journey will potentially minimise the risk.

Lastly, make sure you check in with your kids regularly to see how they’re getting on with their social media journeys. Social media plays a big part in day-to-day life whether we accept it or not. So, do what you can, so that their experience is a happy one!

 

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