More than 60 percent of teens in the United States have at least one social media account, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. And while being online is a good way to keep in touch with friends and family, it’s important for parents to be proactive about Internet safety. Personally, I don’t believe in keeping teens and tweens away from technology (unless they misbehave); I think that as parents we need to teach them to use social media in an appropriate manner.
Your kid’s safety obviously is one of the most important issues. Unfortunately, there are people who can use your child’s personal information to steal identities, bully them or begin an inappropriate relationship. Help protect teens and tweens from online dangers by following these safety tips.
6 tips to keep teens safe on social media
- Keep your child’s profile private so that only family and people you know see photos, important dates and other information.
- Make sure they’re not posting personal details, including phone numbers, home address, and the name of their school or Social Security number.
- Only allow them to publish photos and videos that don’t jeopardize their safety or their integrity.
- Make sure they choose a strong password that can’t be guessed, and that it gets changed every three months.
- Never allow them to accept friend requests from people they don’t know.
- Keep an open dialogue with your children. Ask them to let you know if they’ve received private 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 on OnGuardOnline.gov, a free government resource for parents and teens.
Other posts that can help you when raising tweens and teens:
- Tips to tackle complicated issues with your kids
- Raise confident kids so they can stand up to others
- Remember: your kids can see your social media posts
- Build trust and healthy communication skills with kids early on