Social Media & Children Protection

Publication Date 10 December 2018

By Eliane Souaiby - Education Consultant & Teacher Trainer

When we think about social media we think of the word protection. This is what I get asked the most as education consultant. For parents, social media means an added worry to monitor and teach children how to safely use social networks. Yes they know about how they should protect them, but do they apply it?

Once you approve your child being on social media—a complex decision every family has to make— You must be actively engaged in your child’s protection and privacy. Here are some tips to help keep your child safe online:

1. Have regular and open conversations with your children about using social media.This way they know it's important to follow some guidelines for their own safety.

2. Teach them to not give out personal information.

3. Make sure your child has secure privacy settings. When setting up social media profiles and giving kids access to computers, tablets, or smartphones, it's important to keep the settings to ‘private'.

4. Research the latest in social media. Stay educated on things like what new social media platforms pop up.

5. Find out about software you can buy or download to keep children safe online, for example Norton Family, which helps you monitor web activity and prevents kids from trying to delete visits from their history.

Here are some questions you could discuss with your children, now that they are older:

• Do you really know everybody on your ‘friends’ list?

• Do you know how to use and set privacy and security settings? Can you show me how?

• Do you ever get messages from strangers? If so, how do you handle them?

• Do you know anyone who has made plans to meet someone offline that they’ve only ever spoken to online?

When parents ask me « Can we post photos of our kids on social media? » my answer is« it’s your choice but for me I think there is no point to expose their privacy to others ». Did we ask them if they accept or not? Did we think what might their reaction be later on?

Some influencers on Instagram exaggerate by showing their kids every day! And not only it falls on the dangerous spectrum, It’s hard to believe that someone aside from close family would really care about random photos about kids. Not to mention the negative about the way they dressed their children, sure, haters are gonna hate, but is it necessary to expose all this on social media?

Now it’s time to think what we should post about our kids and protect their privacy!