When you let your kids online, you want them to learn, have fun, and remain safe. However, the numerous risks online, especially with social media, can make that difficult. Even if you are a tech savvy person who attempts to teach your children everything, online safety remains a huge concern for you. The solution here is not to remove access to the online world, or just to specific social media sites, but to navigate the situation better. Following the tips below, you can handle social media safety effectively. Doing so will allow your children to have plenty of fun while on the computer without you dealing with the stress, worries, and horrors that come from the many dangers other users pose. These tips offer family safety in a way anyone can handle.
- Knowledge is Power
Learn about social media. Whether you have never used it or you use it regularly, you want to learn about it. Learn about the risks, learn about the benefits, learn about how they are used, and learn about what you can do. Information will help you when speaking with your child about this, figuring out what to do, and understanding why all of this is so important. You cannot expect to build family safety if you yourself have little knowledge of what is wrong or what the risks are. Knowledge is how you get going in the right direction.
- Talk It Out
Talking it out is always part of family safety. You did it with going into the street, talking with strangers, and all of the other safety tips you grew up learning. Now, you have to do it with social media safety, as well. Talk to your child about the dangers online and on social media. Make sure that they understand the risks here before creating an account and accessing any social media website. Remember to make it an actual discussion, too, and not just you talking at them about it. Have them ask questions and be sure that they understand the risks out there.
- Choose Wisely
It is difficult to practice social media safety when your child is not supposed to use the site or when the site itself is unsafe as a whole. Look through the social media sites available and find something age appropriate. Due to age restrictions on many of the most popular social media websites, you want to check for all of them. Many will state that children under 13 should not use the website at all, and they could have their accounts banned if caught. Choose a site that you are comfortable with your child using and that they can use.
- Have Access
When creating the social media account, have access to it. Social media safety is not possible if you are giving your child free, unmonitored access to anything they want on social media. Know the password, the email, and the privacy settings. Set it all to your liking and check it regularly. Make sure that your child knows this, too, and does not attempt to change anything personally. You should always know what is happening on their page.
One of the biggest parts of general family safety is having the computer somewhere in a public space. Do not give your child a computer of their own for their own room as that gives them time to do whatever they please whenever they please. Keep it in a common area where you can monitor their activity directly.
- Control Access
Regardless of how your child accesses his or her social media account, you want to make sure that they are not going overboard. Do not allow your child to remain on their social media account for several hours. Make sure that there is a time limit to how long they can remain online in general, especially when using social media accounts. You also want to limit access from mobile devices or other computers outside of the main one. If you find that your child is accessing these accounts at all hours, especially when not in your presence, you lose control of the situation. Avoid this by making sure that your child is not overdoing it with internet or social media access.
There are plenty of ways to build family safety when online. The above tips are manageable for everyone, no matter tech or social media knowledge. You can have very little experience in both yet still keep your child safe. Remain thorough, serious, and caring throughout this, too. If you want to make sure that this sticks, and if you want to get the most out of this, then you have to follow through with it and stay on track. Lead by example, do not go against your own word, and continue to watch everything that is happening. Social media safety will become easier than you might imagine.