How to Ensure Your Child is Safe on Social Media
In the ever-evolving world of social media, several platforms and tools can be used for positive reasons such as education, entertainment, and socializing. While this is ideal for those who are over a certain age and can understand what they are looking at, the world of social media can be a scary place for children. Whether it’s Tik Tok, Snapchat, Instagram or Youtube, there are several methods to ensure your child is safe, while still being able to enjoy and learn via social media.
#1: Tik Tok
Tik Tok is an up and coming social media video app that is made for users to create and share short lip-sync, comedy and talent videos. Tik Tok currently has 500 million active users monthly worldwide. In the first quarter of 2019, it was the most downloaded app with 188 million new users. It is an app used by 41% of teens aged 16 to 24 years old around the world. Tik Tok is a hot new social media platform. So how can you be sure your child is safe while using it? The first option is to control who can see your child's videos. By switching your child’s account to private it will limit who can see their following to only viewers they approve via follower requests.
Another option is to restrict your child's use of the app. Tik Tok features a digital wellbeing option which allows you to control the time your child spends on the app and limit any content that may not be appropriate.
Although Snapchat has been around for a few years, its popularity continues to grow. Snapchat is a multimedia messaging app used to share photos, videos, texts, and drawings. There are currently 203 million active users daily in the 2nd quarter of 2019. 90% of users are between 13 to 24 years old, appealing to teens and young adults. This app is the 2nd most used app based on worldwide overall mobile usage. This app is a fun and easy way for your child to communicate with friends and family, but as with all apps, there are potential dangers. Although there are no set parental controls, there are still ways to ensure safety. Avoid your child being contacted by unknown users, make sure the settings are set to only be contacted by Friends. This can be done by opening the profile page, tapping the settings, select contact me set it to “My Friends.” Then turn to the “Who Can” section (as in who can view your child's stories) and select “My Friends” so that only their friends could see their snaps.
Instagram is arguably one of the most popular social media platforms today. It is a photo-video sharing social networking service. With recent updates and the addition of Instagram TV, which serves as a standalone app that allows for longer videos than usual Instagram posts, there are endless opportunities. Instagram currently has 1 billion active users monthly and is the 2nd most engaged network after Facebook. 71% of Instagram users are under 35 years old. While there are several positive uses for Instagram, you will want to make sure that there are safety restrictions set into place.
First, you’ll want to make sure that your child’s account is set to private so that only close family and friends can view their page. You can also opt to filter offensive comments by going into their profile icon, selecting settings and finding the see comments section. Switch on “Hide Offensive Comments,” to filter any comments posted on their pages. If desired, you can even opt to completely turn comments off. Lastly, you should make sure their story settings are set to followers only, rather than public and viewable by anyone. You can find this option under the story settings.
YouTube has 1.9 billion users worldwide, coming behind Facebook in second for most active users every month. Youtube also contains content in 80 different languages, covering 95% of the Internet population. For comparison, Facebook is only available in 43 languages. When it comes to the usage of YouTube based on generation, at least 90% of U.S. internet users aged 18 to 44 years accessed Youtube. Every day, people watch one billion hours of videos on YouTube that generate billions of views. YouTube is a video sharing service where users can watch, like, share, comment and upload their videos. While there is a lot to be learned and entertained via Youtube, there is also a lot of potential for danger.
To enable parental controls, first begin by signing into your child’s YouTube account. Once logged in, click the profile picture on the upper right corner. Then select the restricted mode from the drop-down menu, and make sure that it is turned on. This will filter any potentially inappropriate material from finding its way to your child’s YouTube account.
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