Every day it seems there’s another news story about the dangers of social media when it comes to children and teens. But other than just telling your teen that “social media is dangerous,” what practical advice can be given? We found some helpful information about social media safety for teens from OnGuardOnline.gov:
More than 60 percent of American teens have at least one social media account. Being online is a good way to keep in touch with friends, but there are people who can use your child’s personal information to steal their identity, bully them, or begin an inappropriate relationship.
Help protect your child from online dangers by following these safety tips:
1. Keep their profile private so that only family and people you know see photos, important dates, and other information.
2. Make sure they’re not posting personal details, including phone numbers, home address, Social Security number, and the name of their school.
3. Only allow them to publish photos and videos that don’t jeopardize their safety or their integrity.
4. Make sure they choose a strong password that can’t be guessed, and that they change it every three months.
5. Never allow them to accept friend requests from people they don’t know.
6. Keep an open dialogue. Ask them to let you know if they’ve received messages from a stranger, or from someone at school who is teasing, harassing, or threatening them. Those could be signs of cyber-bullying or even a sexual predator.
Get additional online safety tips, and other relevant information at OnGuardOnline.gov.