Social Media Safety Tips

There are many different reasons why social media can be a dangerous playground. While the horror stories all focus on kids being lured or abducted, there are far more threats that are less severe. No matter the age or sex, it is important for parents to talk to their teens regarding social media safety. Here are some tips and advice that will make it easier for parents and guardians to keep their children safe.

Check Privacy Settings:
In most cases, the default privacy settings will give posts the most public exposure which can be very dangerous. Important Privacy Setting Resource Links:  Privacy Settings on Facebook / Modify Privacy Settings on Twitter / Control Visibility on Instagram / Make Your Tumblr Private / Visit AdjustYourPrivacy.com for a centralized location to ​update accounts.

If teens ​have ​never checked or updated their ​privacy settings, then people they ​don’t know can see their ​posts. Even if parents ​think teens are being careful about what they post, it’s common for them​ to post sensitive information without even realizing it.  A post could include something​ as simple as an identifying background in a ​picture…helping​ online ​predators find easy prey.​ A social media ​profile​​ should be ​strictly private… the best settings are where only friends can see what is ​posted​. The “Friends of Friends” setting can leave teens​ exposed and vulnerable.

Be Cautious of Friend Requests:
Sure, it’s great to connect with new people through social people… but isn’t there something suspicious when a complete stranger sends a friend request?  Teach your teen to play it safe and only accepting ​​friend requests from friends in the real world. Apart from the obvious (more severe) threats… friend requests from strangers more commonly turn out to be spam bots (​which result in​ spamming others​.) Fake profiles are also created for cyber bullying. So when a new friend request comes in, make sure your teen knows the person.​  Limit personal contact information in a profile and posts. Teens should never give away a phone number or address.

More Tips for Online Safety:

  • Avoid using location services like Foursquare and disable location services on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. when posting photos.

  • Avoid posting when away on​ vacation.

  • Instruct your teen that it is never OK to meet a stranger​ off ​line.

  • Keep an open line of communication; your teen should tell you about any provocative or unsettling posts or pictures.​

For more information visit ​© Safe Search Kids here