Social media is a great way to stay connected with friends and family. It can also help you to discover new ideas, places, music and art. However, many parents worry about their children’s safety when using social media channels.
There are risks involved in allowing your child to use social media networks, and it is a good idea to discuss these dangers with them in order to protect you children’s safety online.
Here is some helpful advice from Manor House School on how parents can help their children to stay safe whilst using social media…
Explain that talking to strangers online isn’t safe and sometimes people aren’t who they say they are. Advise your child to never accept friend requests from people they don’t know. It is also crucial to stress to children that they should never meet any strangers they have spoken to online.
It is important to teach your children to be careful about what information they share on social media. They should never give out any personal details or share their location. Many social media accounts offer privacy settings to keep your personal information safe. Be sure to set your child’s social media accounts to private, so that only approved friends will be able to see any information they share.
Inappropriate and offensive content
Discuss appropriate and inappropriate image sharing with your son or daughter and help them to understand what could cause offence to others online. Remind your child to never share any images showing their school uniform on their social networks, as this can allow predators to identify their location.
Make your child aware of ‘Cyberbullying’ and ‘Trolling’ and what this can involve. Help them to understand that sending upsetting messages on social networks is a form of bullying and they should never be unkind to others. Let your child know that they can always talk to you if this is happening to them.
It is also really important that you keep an eye on what social networks, chat rooms or games your child is using and ensure that you have the right parental controls in place. Some online games have the option to switch off the ‘chat’ function so that your children can not make contact with others.
If you want to set up parental controls, adjust privacy settings or learn more about social networks, you can find many useful resources online. You can also contact the NSPCC or your child’s school for online safety advice.