A few decades earlier, there was a time when kids used to stay like glue in front of the TV, and now smartphones have replaced it. Kids spent hours scrolling through their favorite social media platforms on their smartphones. And you may be shocked to know that there are lots of risks to it that your child should take care of. In order to protect your kids from social media danger, you first have to start with a simple conversation. Along with that, you have to take some necessary measures.
The young generation uses social media mostly to get in touch with their friends and family. And the overall concept of different media platforms is also to keep loved ones connected. However, the sad thing is that our kids don’t realize what to post and what not on social sites, which leads to the biggest problem.
As your kid has a different perspective, open conversation brings transparency between you two. And to protect your kid, you need more knowledge about social media; without that, it is not possible. Still, this article covers the critical measure that helps to protect your kids from social media danger.
Social Media Danger
According to law, to have an account on some famous social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Tiktok, you should only be over the age of 13 years. However, a recent report found that 42% of 5-11 years olds use social media, with 59% of 11 years old and staggering 74% of 12 years old having social media presence. These kids are violating this law.
Social media has both positive and negative consequences. Communication with friends can boost the feeling of belonging and connection which helps to bring less conflict in the family and enhance creativity by sharing ideas and arts. But some social media can bring anxiety, depression, increase in the suicide rate.
List of Some social media danger
Your child might be bullied through digital technology. The posted videos or pictures of kids might be misused by scammers who may pass mean comments, make sexual remarks, and spread fake online rumors. As juniors are still growing; they can’t take this. As a result, they may self-harm and attempt suicide.
The shared birthdate, school name, and other information about your kids online are misused by predators to reach your kids effortlessly. Social media sites are the best place for online predators to groom the kids. Some may use fake accounts and convince them to meet up, while some may directly send inappropriate videos and images and blackmail them. The main goal for them is to meet them face to face.
More importantly, after this Covid-19 pandemic situation rise in online predictors has been observed.
Online scams are the most commonly targeted towards teens. Our children are naive, so it’s easy for scammers to scam them. Fake lottery scams, phishing scams, survey scams are the most common ways of scams. The intention behind scams differs from person to person, but mainly, it’s all for money. Scammers might blackmail your kids and demand money. While some may use phishing emails and messages to hack the Facebook account, identity theft.
Children may encounter exposure to content that is not suitable for them. Content that includes pornographic videos, vulgar language, videos or images promoting racism, and brutality towards humans or creatures is not appropriate for anyone. However, adults can use their minds and decide what is right and wrong, but children learn from those things. The thinking capacity and style of your child get hampered by inappropriate content, which in result weaken their mental growth.
Top 5 Ways to protect your kids from social media danger
Before going to the protective steps, one factor is quite important to consider, i.e., following age requirement guidelines for creating a social media account. Whether you create the account for your child or they create themselves, need to consider the age requirement law. Sites that collect data and information from users have to follow U.S federal law. And that needs them to alert parents through notifications and gain consent from them.
However, it is not a complex job for kids to lie about age before signing up for social media accounts. Which can expose them to a potential risk of social media.
That’s why follow the given methods to protect your kids from social media danger.
Set ground rules for Social Media Use
While making the account, you need to set some ground rules like a contract for social media for your child. Tell them what they are allowed to post, how often they can spend time, and whom they can follow on social media.
To have a better relationship between you and your kid, try to be more flexible sometimes. Because rules like turning off social media after 8 pm may take your child away from their best friend who always came online after that. try to understand them by putting yourselves in their shoes. It would work better if you set rules for yourself and your child.
Educate kids on the social media risks
Educate the risk of social media after setting ground rules on them to your child. It helps to know the reason behind the controls. Today’s kids have an idea about the latest trends and online memes more than their parents. And when children understand the risk, they will be more alert.
Inform them not to open any phishing links and never meet their online friends without their parents. It is better to restrict them from being friends with strangers.
Encourage them not to have any sex-related conversations with anyone and not share personal pictures and information.
Check your child’s privacy settings regularly.
Not just randomly, but you need to monitor your kids’ social media privacy settings regularly. After the account has been created, tell them about the privacy settings. Each platform has its different privacy settings, so check privacy settings regularly because they might change at any time.
The main points you have to check are:
With the help of privacy settings, make sure the birthday, phone numbers, age, school’s name is not revealed to the public. Make these things private, and take care of what kind of pictures they share even with their friends. Tell them not to share passwords with anyone.
Most Social Media Applications share geographic locations. You need to disable the location sharing feature from the media platform of your child. Otherwise, it can be an easy way for predators to track your child.
Surfing across the internet makes it easily accessible and exposed to inappropriate content. Block the age-restricted content from social media.
If social media has the option to private the profile, encourage your kid to use it. Less information sharing leads to less exposure of information to strangers, which is excellent.
Also, restrict your kid from being friends with strangers because the information you limit for your friends will now be available to the stranger person who became friends on your social media.
Keep an Open Conversation With Your Child
Simply table talk nicely with your kid because rudeness never wins. Openly discuss the use of social media to help you solve upcoming problems or those you have already encountered. You can shield your child once you know what they are doing online and what problems they are facing. Wherefore ask them regularly about that.
Tell them not to throw any harsh or mean comments neither on social media nor in the real world. Likewise, in the situation when they feel attacked by harsh judgment, tell your kid to inform you. Make them believe everything you do is for their safety.
Use Parental Control Apps
Parental Control Apps like Mobile Spy help you remotely monitor your child’s social media. But before using parental control apps, tell them it’s for their safety and get consent from them. It also helps to filter the type of content on your kid’s phone. Not just social media, you can track GPS location, monitor multimedia, and call settings of your child’s phone like your own phone.
It is very much helpful in case your child starts hiding things from you. Furthermore, by using the phone’s built-in parental control features, you can limit the screen time, restrict application purchasing and downloading, and so on as per your wish. While monitoring, if you find someone is harassing or grooming your children, inform the police or Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center.
Guide your child to report any abusive and offending posts to the site management. And tell your kids not to post anything online that they don’t want their teacher or school administrators to see.
During the pandemic of Covid-19, social media use has reached its perk. Despite what might seem incredible, ‘Social Media’ actually harbors some dark potential dangers. For that reason, you have to be extra careful while using it.
Social Media and Children is a terrific composition. Ranging from cyberbullying and harassment of sex predators, risks for children on social media has endless. However, social media is not dangerous in itself; it’s how you are using it.
If you are concerned about the risk of social media for your phone-obsessed kid, then have a look at the measures mentioned above.