How Kids Can Keep Their Social Media Accounts Secure
At some point in their childhood—and probably far sooner than you would like—your child may want to set up a social media account. There are both pros and cons to letting tweens and teens begin using social media, so you’ll want to think through this decision carefully.
When you do decide that the time is right for your child to use social media, don’t just set them loose: talk to them about keeping their social media accounts secure. Social media safety is one of the most important components of kids’ overall internet safety, so it’s essential to teach your young ones how to protect themselves on a variety of platforms. Your child can keep their social media accounts secure by being diligent about doing the following:
Asking for parental permission. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with and approved of the social media platforms your child plans to use, instruct them to ask for permission before opening any new accounts in the future. Emphasize that their internet safety should be a team effort and that having you screen new platforms and apps will help protect them from online dangers.
Setting privacy settings. Be sure your child understands the privacy settings on their accounts and how to use them. Teach your child or teen to turn on the settings that make their accounts most secure and turn off those that could expose their information to the wider web.
Thinking carefully about what they post. Emphasize that no matter how secure their accounts are, once they post something, it can never truly be deleted. Before making each post, they should consider whether they would want important people in their present and future lives to see it, such as their grandparents, teachers, or future employers. Kids should avoid posting anything mean or offensive, private, or otherwise inappropriate.
Not connecting with strangers. Kids should never connect with social media or chat platform users they don’t know in real life. Explain that not everyone is who they say they are and that even strangers who seem friendly or kind could have dangerous ulterior motives.
Teach Kids Safe Tech Use With Net Positive
The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Utah County is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens and leaders. We accomplish this by providing evidence-based programs with a focus on those that improve academic engagement, build character, and improve healthy behaviors.
Our Net Positive Program educates K-12 students about digital safety, health, citizenship, and leadership. After participating in our program, students are 97% better prepared to face internet dangers. Contact us to learn more and ask your school to schedule a Net Positive Presentation, or support us with your donation today!
“Internet Safety for Kids: Using Social Networks Safely.” GCFGlobal.org, https://edu.gcfglobal.org/en/internetsafetyforkids/using-social-networks-safely/1/.
“Teaching Kids to Be Smart about Social Media (for Parents) - Nemours Kidshealth.” Edited by Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, KidsHealth, The Nemours Foundation, Aug. 2022, https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/social-media-smarts.html.