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How to Keep Your Child Safe on Social Media

Follow these steps and you won’t have to worry anymore about how to keep your child safe on social media.

Being a parent today means worrying about how to keep your child safe on social media. Just the idea of your child using social media can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. 

Your child can still talk with their friends and enjoy making posts without keeping you up at night. It just means you need to have a conversation with them. Here are some tips on how to keep your child safe on social media.

Talk About Internet Safety

Talking to your child about internet safety is extremely important. It can make or break their social media experience. Sadly, even websites made for children are full of potentially dangerous strangers.

Teach your child that they should only be online friends with people they know in real life. You never know if the strangers you add are real or pretending to be someone else. This leads us to another point about creating a social media profile. 

Always be yourself! Explain to your child that they should never pretend to be someone else when they are on social media. Not only is it wrong, but it could lead to them talking to someone dangerous. 

You should also warn your child to be careful of what they post on social media. Once you post something, it’s out there for everyone to see. Most times the delete button isn’t even enough to undo everything. 

People can save posts. People can take screenshots. Even if you take a post down, it may be shared by other people. 

Educate your child about the effects social media may have on their everyday life. Anything you post could be used against you. For example, potential employers could see your posts and decide not to hire you. 

If you are still worried your child is not taking internet safety seriously, teach them the grandma rule. If you are debating about posting something just try imagining that grandma is reading it. If it’s not something you would want grandma to read, then you shouldn’t post it. 

Even private messages are not safe. Teach your child to never send inappropriate pictures or have sexual conversations with their friends online. There’s no guarantee their friends are the only people that will see what they post. 

Remind your child that bullying on social media isn’t okay either. If you wouldn’t say something to someone’s face, you shouldn’t say it to them through a screen. Words can hurt, even if they are typed. 

Now is also a good time to have a conversation about keeping personal information secret. Teach your child about the dangers of posting pictures or statuses that include information like their address, phone number, or school name. It is scary how easily somebody could track your child down with even just a little bit of information. 

Talking with your child about internet safety can help make their social media experience a positive one. Plus the more they learn about internet safety now, the better off they will be as they continue to age. Once they understand how to be safe, it’s time to set boundaries. 

Set Rules and Boundaries

Consider making a rule that your child can only use devices in public spaces. For example, computers aren’t allowed in bedrooms or phones aren’t allowed at the dinner table. This way they understand that social media is a privilege, not a right. 

You should also give your child clear rules about what will happen if they misuse social media. For example, you can take away their devices until they learn to understand the dangers of the internet. Remind them that if you cannot trust them to use social media safely, you cannot trust them to use it at all.

You can also try making a deal that you will not pry into their accounts if they agree to use social media responsibly. That means no talking to strangers, no inappropriate posts, and no bullying of anyone online. So long as they act accordingly, you shouldn’t have to worry about what they are doing on social media. 

Remember not to snoop on your child! You want to build trust with them through open and honest communication. Just follow these steps and you won’t have to worry anymore about how to keep your child safe on social media.

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