How can my kids use Facebook, Snapchat, and other social networks safely? Keeping our kids safe and secure on the Internet has always been a challenge, but the difficulty has only increased because of the pandemic and our new normal of Safe At Home, Work From Home, and remote schooling. Our kids are online more than ever. As parents, we need to be aware of the dangers and diligent about protecting our kids
This excellent four part series of articles covers the topic of Internet Safety for Kids in depth. We will be publishing these articles over the next two weeks, on Monday June 15 , Wednesday June 17 , and Monday June 22 (today) and Wednesday June 24.
This is the fourth and final part of a 4 part series.
From Peter McBryde of VPNStreamer.com.au
How to Use Social Media Safely
Social Network Age Restrictions
Although there are some social network sites designed for younger children, it is recommended that only children ages 13 and above should be allowed to use these platforms. It is often thought of this is because of the content, while in fact, it is because of an old American law, the Children’s online privacy protection act which dictates this.
Social media does raise interaction with people. This can be beneficial in younger children as they can become quite vocal as well as creative. Communication is instant no matter where your children are as long as they have a connection.
News and updates are up to date, and there is no question that it is fun and entertaining for kids to partake in.
It is the negative impact which very quickly outweighs the benefits. With online prowlers stalking kids, to Cyber Bullying from other kids they know or complete strangers, there are lots for children to absorb.
Privacy is another significant issue because children are unaware that what they say may divulge too much information.
The final areas where there is a negative impact is when children are reliant on social media. Once this happens, they substitute online interaction for any offline interaction. Once they do this, all the skills they build up, they are uncomfortable using when face to face.
Distraction is one final aspect, and many social media platforms are designed to keep people glued to their device. Children will not be able to leave this for fear of missing out. This quickly leads to sedentary lifestyles where children stay in one spot for too long, and they have disrupted sleep from staring at screens too long.
How to set up a Social Media profile privately
As Facebook is the primary social media platform, we will use this in the example.
If you don’t already have a Facebook account, you can follow these steps
If you don’t have a Facebook account
- Go to Facebook and click Sign up for an account. Use a private email address (one not used for any other purpose).
- You must enter your real name. Creating a fake account is against Facebook’s terms and conditions
- This also goes against Facebook’s terms, but if you select the earliest date for your birthday, Facebook can’t target you as much with ads.
- Confirm the email address. If you have a Gmail address, it asks to connect to Gmail.
- Once the email has been confirmed, you can move on. Select OK.
- Facebook asks if you want to add friends. Ignore this and select “next”:
Start Here If you have a Facebook Account
- Click the small white downward facing triangle (top right of the menu. Click “settings.”
- On the left menu. Click ‘Privacy’
- Select ‘Only Me’ – this stops any posts going out. You also get who can see my stuff, who can contact me and who can look me up. Change all to Me Only.
- You can do the same for previous posts, this will change anything you posted to only you being able to see them.
- Click the “Limit Past Posts” button. Click Confirm.
- You can also set who can contact you by selecting Friend of Friends
- The same is similar for you can look you up. Change to Friends
- Search engines can be blocked by selecting ‘Turn ‘
- After this, you can change what adverts you wish to use, and then you can go into the About section and amend any personal information there is.
- After this, you can stop anyone seeing your friends list by selecting ‘Only ‘
- That’s all you can do.
As you can see, there is plenty for parents to go through when keeping kids safe online. For any parent, they will be forever saying ‘protecting my child’ from this and that.
When it comes to the internet, it can be hard, and children might try and get around anything you put in place.
Education is one of the best things you can do for a child because without it, they will go through the next few years not knowing what is safe and what isn’t.