There’s a lot to worry about on the internet these days. Predators, scammers, and cyberbullying are all very real issues that affect all internet users. Teens can be an especially vulnerable group of people, so it’s important to teach your teens about internet safety. It’s also important to do your own research about the social media sites teen use, to determine what the safest ones are. Here are a few sites that are considered safe to use. Article Sponsored by: Weatherford Sealcoating Service
Instagram is an image sharing site. Their terms of service require that users be at least 13 years old to use it. It’s generally considered a safe site, though like everything caution is needed.
Instagram has privacy settings that allow you to make your account private unless you approve someone “following” you. It’s recommended that your teen has this privacy setting turned on. Tell them not to accept any requests from followers that they don’t know. This will keep strangers from seeing your child’s images.
Instagram also allow geo-location tags. These are tags that show up and tell people looking at the pictures where the pictures were taken. For privacy and safety’s sake, it’s best to turn this setting off on their account.
Snapchat is another photo-sharing app. Users send photos to each other which are usually on a timer. Once the timer is up, the picture can’t be seen again. This is assuming, of course, that other users don’t screenshot (save the image) on their phones.
Even though the pictures disappear after the timer is up, you still need to tell your teen to be smart while using this app. Remind them never to send explicit or compromising pictures, since other users can still screenshot images users send. Sending goofy and funny images to friends is a-OK, just remind your child to use their brain and be smart!
Snapchat also has a location sharing option, which you should get your teen to turn off. If this setting is turned on, other user will be able to see your child’s current location. Obviously, this is a huge safety concern for your child, so make sure they aren’t sharing their location.
These days, it seems like everyone is on Facebook. It’s a great way to network and stay up to date with family and friends. It’s also a site safe for teens, as long as you take the right precautions.
Facebook’s privacy settings allow you to choose what information you share with other people who aren’t yet your “friends.” Make sure your teen has these privacy settings turned on. This will ensure strangers can’t take a look at what they’re posting and sharing.
Also, remind your child to be careful what they do choose to share. Even if it’s only friends and family seeing it, once something is online, it’s hard to get rid of it. Even deleting a post might not eradicate it completely. People might screenshot posts, and those you won’t be able to delete.
Teach your child about basic safety on the internet, and make sure they know to think before they post.
Twitter is a side that allows users to share bite-sized pieces of information. They have a character limit of 280 characters, and are able to share pictures, articles, and other posts.
Many people use Twitter as a way of staying updated on trending topics and world news. For this reason, it’s generally recommended that Twitter is used by older teens, since much of the world’s news can be a bit mature.
Twitter does also offer privacy settings like Instagram and Facebook. Your teen can set their account to “private,” which means they have to approve followers before they can see their posts. You should encourage your teen to use this privacy setting, so they have more control over who sees their tweets.
Also, remember to teach them to think about what they post before they hit that “Tweet” button.
Some Social Media Tips
In today’s world, it’s pretty unreasonable to assume your teen won’t go on social media. The best thing you can do for your child is teach them about internet safety. Go over some rules you might have for them, like turning on their privacy settings, reminding them not to post anything inappropriate, and limiting the amount of time they spend on these apps.
Remind them to also be mindful of who is adding them as “friends” or requesting to “follow” them on social media. They should never accept a friend request from someone they don’t know.
Tell them to turn off any geo-tagging. Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook all have geo-tagging options. Even if it’s just friends and family seeing the posts, it’s far better to be safe than sorry.
And remember to check out and learn for yourself how to use all the same apps your teen is. This will help you understand what they see, which means it’ll be easier for you to set some rules and keep them safe.
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