How to Keep Children Safe on Social Media

How to Keep Children Safe on Social Media

There are record amounts of us on social media platforms, and those numbers just keep on rising. With the likes of Facebook seemingly the choice of an older age group, the likes of TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram have huge memberships from those much younger.

While platforms set a minimum age of 13, the reality is that many children are signing up way before this. With their friends all online, there is pressure to allow your child to sign up too. When they do, what can you do to ensure that they stay safe? That’s what we’re going to explore now.

How long are Children spending on Social Media?

Before we look at ways to stay safe, it’s worth looking at just how children use social media accounts. According to Express VPN’s study, a quarter of parents allow their 4 to 13-year-olds to have a social media account. In the US, around 63% of kids use these platforms, as opposed to 53% in the UK.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, as children get older, they spend more time online. Even at a younger age, a significant amount of time is spent—even 4-year-olds average 21 minutes a day, which is plenty of time for them to be vulnerable. Let’s take a look at how to keep them as safe as possible.

Parental Controls are a Must

By setting up parental controls, you can limit the amount of time your children can spend online. Not only this, but you can also restrict the sites that are visited and add certain filters that block potentially harmful content.

Get the Kids Talking

If you want your children to be safe online, you need to ensure they’re fully aware of the dangers. You also need to reach a stage where your kids are open to discussing things with you. The more that you’re able to promote honesty, the better, as this will mean that you can have confidence that they will come to you with any issues.

Reiterate Stranger Danger

Children are warned about the dangers of approaching a stranger on the street from a young age. The same should apply online. You must ensure your children understand the dangers of befriending someone online – you never know it is hiding behind a screen.

Consider your Child’s Username

Your username is how everyone will see your child while playing games and online. Be sure that this doesn’t give away information such as your child’s real name or date of birth. Usernames with this type of information only serve to attract online predators.