Social media can be a great way for young people to stay in touch with friends, share memories and much more.

But, there is a darker side to these sites. When logged in, your child is more vulnerable to cyber bullying and seeing inappropriate content, but never fear! We’re here to give you the facts about social media and offer tips on what you can do to keep them safe online.

 

How are our kids using social media? Are they old enough to sign up?

Things to remember…

  • To use the majority of social media platforms, children need to be 13 years old
  • The majority of social media users are adults over the age of 18
  • There are social media platforms designed just for kids, such as Kuddle, Yoursphere & Popjam
  • Nearly 1-in-3 children know other people’s passwords, and 47% of them have accessed those accounts without them knowing!
  • More than a quarter of children say they would meet – or have met someone in person they first met online.
  • 39% of children think the worst thing that can happen to them online is that they could be cyberbullied, yet 35% of these indicate that they have bullied people on social media themselves.
  • 1-in-3 12 to 15 year olds may be in contact with people they don’t know on their social networking profiles.

Here are our top tips on keeping them safe…

  • Learn about the functions and features of each app or site your child is using.
  • Protect! Use privacy settings to make sure nobody can see your child’s profile other than their friends and family.
  • Teach your child how to block or ignore people on each social site they use.
  • Never share your passwords with your children, and be sure to encourage them never to give theirs away either, if they know it!
  • Set some clear boundaries – let them know exactly what they can and can’t post, and remind them that once something has been posted, it might not be able to be permanently deleted.
  • Show them the kid’s alternatives to the major social sites out there, and encourage the parents of their friends to use these too – they have security built-in, so they can be trusted.
 
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Steph Robinson

By Steph Robinson on 25.09.17

Guest Contributor

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