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5 Social Media Safety Tips for Children and Teens

There’s no doubt that we live in a digital world and as our children become more and more tech savvy in this digital age, it’s important that parents maintain a vigilant sense of security when it comes to our children’s online presence.

While having the ability to be instantaneously connected to the world around you and to share your experiences at your fingertips has several benefits, it also opens up a whole new world of risks. From predators to cyberbullies, a child’s misuse of a social network can have serious consequences.

If your child is asking to use, or is already using social media, check out these five tips for keeping them safe on social media.

5 Social Media Safety Tips

1. Educate yourself about social media

Do you remember when the only big social media sites were Facebook and Myspace? That’s not the case anymore. As a parent, it’s important to familiarize yourself with what sites are out there and which are appropriate for your child. Here are some of the most popular social apps and sites for kids and teens:

2. Regularly check your child’s privacy settings.
Once your child has set up a social media account, it’s important to remain vigilant about keeping their privacy settings updated. Social Media sites are continually adding security settings to ensure that maximum protection is available, but oftentimes they need to be updated manually by the user.

3. Keep your child’s profile private.
Most social media sites give you the option to make your account private. This means that only people who your child has friended will be able to see the content on their profile. This is an important step to take in order to keep their content private and away from people who may misuse it.

4. Make sure they’re not posting personal details, including phone numbers, address, or check-ins.
Social media has become such a normal part of people’s lives that it’s not uncommon for people to share information about themselves that shouldn’t be shared. It’s important that your child understands what kinds of information shouldn’t be shared and why.

5. Don’t allow them to post photos or videos which jeopardize their safety or character.
While most people post pictures and videos with the best intentions, it’s easy for things to be taken the wrong way or out of context and when everyone is online, the wrong message can have long-lasting consequences. Talk to your kids about this and make sure they understand to only post pictures and videos that present themselves and others in a positive light.

We can all do our part

You can’t monitor your child’s social media activity 24/7, so maintaining a strong line of communication is important to understand what’s going on with your child online. Ask them to inform you whenever they receive messages or invites from strangers. Talk to them about the consequences of misusing social media. Ask them to tell you if someone is teasing or harassing them as those could be signs of cyber-bullying.

About Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd

Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd is a full-service law firm on the Treasure Coast specializing in auto accidents cases, personal injury claims, workers’ compensation, social security disability claims disputes, and bankruptcy and foreclosures.

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