Category: Social Media Safety

How to Discuss Social Media Safety with Your Kids

How to Discuss Social Media Safety with Your Kids

Your child may be unaware of the potential dangers of social media or how it will affect them. While social media offers a platform for a child to learn and engage with others, they may put themselves at risk, especially if they are just getting started. Add to the fact there are multiple avenues for kids to engage with others online, where does a parent begin?

Given that 49% of kids between 10 – 12 years and 32% of 7-9-year-olds are accessing social media, there’s an urgent need for social media risk management. Let’s discuss how to begin a conversation on social media safety and the best way to go about it.

What Is the Right Time to Discuss Social Media Safety?

The best time to start talking with your child about social media is before they go online. If your child shows an interest in social media, initiate an honest conversation with them about what it is. Also, emphasize safe practices when handling social media.

How to Make the Most of Your Conversation

It may be an uncomfortable and frustrating experience discussing sensitive topics with your child. But the key is creating a safe space for an open discussion, and here are some tips to make the conversation go smoothly.

Don’t Lecture Your Child: Talk to your child instead of talking at them by making it an interactive conversation, and allowing them to share their thoughts and experiences. Create an environment where they can freely ask and discuss questions.

Ask Open-Ended Questions: Asking open-ended questions is an excellent strategy to make the conversation a two-way street and encourage your child to think and participate. For instance, asking your kid if they have experienced online bullying prompts them to share their online experience and further the discussion, which naturally leads to more questions.

Social Media Safety Topics to Discuss with Your Children

You can cover many social media topics, but start with the basic concepts during your first discussion. As your children grow older and gain more online experience, you can adjust the content and depth of your conversation to increase their knowledge. Here are some of the topics to start the conversation.

  1. Start a Discussion About Types of Hacking

Teaching your kids about cyber security is one of the first steps in social media risk management. Your children may not know how to keep themselves safe from losing their identity and information to hacking because they are easy targets. Educate them on what hacking is and to look out for:

  • Suspicious gift cards that prompt them to click links. Kids can overshare on social media, and hackers can use this information to create scams that sound exciting and urgent by targeting their emotions.
  • Kids fall victim to phishing attempts where hackers trick them into disclosing their personal information. They may get prompts to confirm their details or earn free money from famous brands.

Hackers make these offers look real, but they’re too good to be true. Teaching your kids about these threats protects them from becoming victims. You can also encourage them to use strong passphrases and passwords.

  1. Stress the Importance of Password Hygiene

Security may not be at the top of your child’s mind, and they may commit the mistake of poor password hygiene, allowing attackers easy access. The kids might reuse compromised passwords, easy-to-guess passwords, or add sequential numbers to base passwords.

Password hygiene emphasizes choosing and managing passwords securely. Teach your kids to choose passwords that are difficult to guess, create a unique password for each social media account, and avoid writing down the password or sharing it with others.

  1. Educate them on Online Predators

There are approximately 500,000 predators online daily, so your kids should learn how to avoid them. Kids unknowingly post personal information, and online predators use social media to find out as much as they can about your child. These predators create an online persona based on your child’s interests and age.

Warn them that online predators can use fake photos to make them believe they are kids. So, they have no idea who is behind a profile they are interacting with. Practice social media risk management by asking them to follow the below security guidelines

  • They must not chat or share pictures with strangers
  • Never disclose their personal information, such as their home address, school, phone number, or last name.
  • Limit their social media friends to people they know.

Kids must be alert, follow their instincts, report to an adult, and block or leave an uncomfortable conversation. Once in a while, look at your child’s phone. Check for any mysterious apps installed for private communication.

Start the Social Media Safety Conversation Today

Social media platforms pose a significant risk to your kids, and they are an easy target to hackers, phishers, and online predators. Educate them on the importance of social media risk management by making them aware of the potential dangers of social media and how to handle them. Let your kids know they can come to you with concerns.

There is also great peer pressure for kids to connect with friends on social media.  Let them know that combined with the importance of staying safe online, their personal well being is just as important and kids should feel free to not engage with other friends online if they don’t want to.  Or at very least, they can reduce the time they spend online.

How to Help Kids Fight Peer Pressure to Join Social Media

Helping Kids Fight Peer Pressure to Join Social Media

As children grow, they start to feel the pressure of their peers to fit in and blend in with the crowd. Over the past decade, kids have felt increasing pressure to join social media and younger ages. Social media has a major impact on how children in the digital generation view themselves and the world.

Social media allows kids to portray themselves as whatever they want to be. It provides a platform for connection and exposure to what’s going on in the world, good or bad. However, there are many risks and disadvantages for people who aren’t mature enough to grasp its complexities. There are many negative impacts social media can have on children.

Here are some ways to help your kids fight peer pressure to join social media.

Peer Pressure Preparation

Prepare your child for peer pressure as early as possible. Instill core values and build their self-esteem, so you can prepare them for any challenges they may face.

Open Communication

Discuss the dangers of peer pressure with your children so they understand why they shouldn’t conform to their peers in instances that pose harm to them or someone else. Ensure your child knows the consequences of their actions and what that entails. The dangers of social media will be irrelevant to your child if you don’t explain how they could cause problems.

Instill Values

Providing values for your child to decipher right from wrong will undoubtedly set them up for success. Give them the necessary tools to make decisions independently with confidence. You can worry less when kids understand the dangers and think through obstacles to come up with solutions. Your child will know what to do when situations occur if you provide them with the fundamentals they need, like respect, integrity, consideration and independence.

Build Their Confidence

Building your child’s confidence is essential to their growth and self-awareness but is also vital to their success. Prepare children to deal with peer pressure on all fronts. They will feel more confident in their decisions if they’re confident in who they are and what they stand for.

When you boost your child’s confidence at home, they are less likely to seek acceptance from their peers or other outside forces like strangers on the internet. Ensure you give your kid the attention and feedback they need at home so they don’t search for it elsewhere. Be attuned to your child and what they are going through. Talk to them as much as possible and listen when they talk to you, offering guidance and support when needed.

Fighting Peer Pressure

Fighting peer pressure is easier said than done. You remember what it was like, right? Kids can be brutal to one another, no matter how you slice it. Fitting in can seem like the only possible solution for children when they don’t have adequate support and guidance to tell them otherwise.

Social Media’s Negative Impacts

Ensure your kids know and understand social media’s negative impacts on them and their peers. Fear of missing out (FOMO) is one of the most impactful reasons children want to have social media. Kids naturally want to be part of the group as they reach adolescence and grow into teenagers. The fact that 55% of the world’s population is hooked to the internet doesn’t help.

Children want to do what everyone else does and get discouraged when they can’t. This can lead to depression and anxiety in kids and harm their overall health. Internet addiction is a genuine concern among parents, as well. Your kids should have supervision and limitations regarding their online presence to prevent this from happening.

Find a Trusted Adult

When your child feels peer pressure to join social media or do anything they don’t want to, encourage them to find a trusted adult. Ask them who their favorite teacher is if they need guidance and support.

Offer ways for your kids to politely refuse and exit these conversations. Roleplay with them so they feel prepared to say no confidently when peer pressure arises. Ensure that you don’t judge your children but guide them in the right direction by listening. When your child feels like they can come to you with anything, they are less likely to hide things from you and make better decisions.

Be True to Yourself

Teach your kids to be true to themselves and not conform to what others do if it’s bad for them. Why would you want to hurt yourself that way? Pose questions like these to provide perspective and hold your child accountable for their actions. Teach them how they could suffer from poor decisions independently, not just for disciplinary reasons.

This knowledge could help your child become the voice of reason in their friend group and discourage others from buckling under pressure. Promoting positive information and how these situations can be avoided gives your child the proper ammo to confidently fight peer pressure and be grateful for your unwavering guidance and support.

There is less reason for concern when kids are mature enough to understand the risks and apply the appropriate amount of caution when using social media. This shouldn’t encourage you to change your stance on it, though.

Help Your Kids Fight Peer Pressure

There are many ways you can supervise your kids’ accounts and ensure they are protected and secure. However, stand firm in your decision if you don’t want them to have social media. Help them combat peer pressure by utilizing these tips to ensure your child avoids being bullied.

Cora Gold Author Bio - Social MediaAuthor bio:
Cora Gold is the Editor-in-Chief of women’s lifestyle magazine, Revivalist. She strives to live a happy and healthy life with her family by her side.

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5 Must-Know Tips to Help Keep Teens Safe on Twitter

Tips to Help Keep Teens Safe on Twitter

With the ubiquity of social media, it’s more important than ever for experts to teach their users about internet safety. Twitter is a viral platform, and it’s essential to be aware of the dangers. One of the most common risks on Twitter is cyberbullying.

Users can remain anonymous, making bullies target other users with little fear of retribution. It can lead to severe emotional damage. As a result, it’s crucial to discuss the importance of being kind online and not engaging in cyberbullying.

In addition to cyberbullying, there are risks associated with sharing personal information on Twitter.

Predators can use this information to locate and target vulnerable users, so we must stress the importance of keeping personal information private through mass media. Reading informative articles and watching videos can help you and your friends avoid becoming victims of cyberbullying or predators by teaching you about internet safety.

Configure Privacy Settings

Knowing how you can help yourself and your friends stay safe on Twitter is essential. One way to do this is by configuring the privacy settings on your account. It will help to prevent strangers from viewing tweets and direct messages.

Additionally, it is crucial to learn about responsible tweeting, including not sharing personal information, such as their home address or phone number. Avoid posting images that can identify you or your location as a user.

Do Not Share Personal Information

Twitter is a microblogging site allowing its users to post short updates, or tweets, of 140 characters or less. Although it is primarily used for personal communication, it has also become a popular platform for businesses and organizations to share news and information. Because Twitter is a public forum, users must be aware of the safety risks of sharing personal information.

One of the biggest dangers of sharing personal information on Twitter is the risk of identity theft. Scammers can use stolen information to open new accounts, make purchases, or even commit other cybercrimes. Another safety concern is the possibility of cyberbullying. Once you post information on Twitter, it can be challenging to remove it. This can leave the user vulnerable to harassment from classmates or strangers.

We encourage you to use strong passwords and avoid sharing sensitive information such as your home address or phone number. Remind your friends that once you post something on Twitter, it is difficult to delete it.

Do Not Befriend Strangers

Always be aware of the risks associated with social media. One of the biggest dangers is the potential for strangers to befriend you or your friend.

While people need to be open to new experiences, teaching users about safety is essential. Predators can use social media to build relationships with their targeted users and then take advantage of them.

By following your trusted circle of friends on social media, you can help monitor their activity and ensure you’re not putting yourselves in danger. In addition, it’s important to talk more about the importance of not sharing personal information with strangers.

Taking these precautions can help keep you safe from harm.

Tweet Wisely

In the age of social media, it’s more important than ever for us to be aware of the dangers lurking online. While Twitter can be an excellent way to stay connected with friends and family, learning and teaching each other how to tweet wisely is crucial.

One of the biggest dangers of Twitter is that it’s a public platform. Anyone can see a person’s tweets, regardless of whether they follow them. It can be hazardous for you if you may not yet fully understand how to use discretion when sharing personal information online.

We must emphasize the importance of only interacting with people they know and trust online.

Finally, you must ensure you and your friends or family know that anything you or they tweet – even if they delete it afterward – can still be screenshotted and spread around. Help keep yourself safe from social media’s many dangers by learning to tweet wisely.

Approach Links with Caution

Yes, social media has become integral to many people’s lives. It provides a way to stay connected with friends and family, share their interests, and express themselves. However, social media can also be a playground for predators and bullies. We need to take proactive stances regarding safety on Twitter.

We all can do a few things to help keep our friends safe on Twitter.

First, they should talk with their teen about online safety and set some ground rules. For example, we might agree that the user will only follow people they know in real life and that they will never share personal information (such as their home address or phone number) online.

Encourage your friends and family (including ourselves, too) to speak up if they feel like they’re being harassed or bullied online or if they see something inappropriate.

Finally, we should regularly check in about their activity on social media and be aware of who they’re interacting with online.

5 Steps How To Be Safe While Using Twitter

Here are some easy steps you can take to be safe while using Twitter:

1. Don’t share personal information.

It includes your full name, address, phone number, or email address.

2. Be careful about what you share online in general.

Remember that once something is posted online, it can be very complicated to delete it. So think twice before you post anything that could be embarrassing or damaging to your reputation.

3. Don’t click on links from people you don’t know.

These could lead to malicious websites infecting your computer with viruses or stealing your personal information.

4. Be aware of the people you’re following.

If someone is constantly posting offensive or inappropriate content, it’s probably best to unfollow them.

5. Report any suspicious activity to Twitter.

If you see something that makes you feel uncomfortable, you can report it to Twitter, and they will investigate.

Conclusion

Be sure to go over the basics of cyber-safety, such as not sharing personal information or meeting up with strangers.

Next, take some time to explore Twitter with your friends and family. Show them how to block and report users who are abusive or harassing.

Finally, encourage your friends to use Twitter responsibly and respectfully.

By taking these steps, anyone can help create a safe environment for users on Twitter and help prevent them from becoming victims of online harassment or predators.

Online Summer Safety Tips for Kids

Summer Fun

School’s out, and that means your kids have lots of time free to spend online chatting, making plans with friends, and posting fun summertime photos—sometimes without you there to supervise. If that gives you anxiety, fear not. Here are four steps that will keep keep your child safe online this summer.

1. Set Rules for Responsible Use

Sit down with your children and talk frankly about why you care about their internet safety, covering big topics like cyberbullying or identity theft in a way that matches their maturity level. Then work together to define clear, understandable rules for their online interactions. Here are a few basics to consider:

  • Never post personal info like addresses and phone numbers on social media.
  • Avoid location check-ins and photo geo-tagging, which can be used to track where you are as well as when you are away from home.
  • Be wary of free games and other goodies, which can infect your devices with malware. Keep security software up to date and scan everything before downloading.
  • Use secure passwords and protect them. There are several password managers out there that can generate strong passwords and store them all in one place.

Once you’ve agreed upon the ground rules for online safety, put them into a contract to be signed by everyone in the family.

2. Follow Your Own Rules

This is an important follow-up to the previous rule. You want your kids not to text or go online after 10 p.m.? Shut down your phone and laptop at the same time.

Don’t want them posting embarrassing photos of you? Let them veto pictures they may not be happy with you sharing on social media, too.

If you can adhere to the rules you and your kids built together, they will feel more inclined to do so as well.

3. Build Your Child’s Critical Thinking Skills

In a world abounding with fake news, help your kids think critically about any content they find online. Encourage older kids especially to fact-check stories before reposting on Facebook or commenting on Twitter.

Teach them to question their own motives as well. Just because a comment will generate a lot of likes, that doesn’t mean they should post it. Even one poorly chosen post can cause problems down the line.

The Family Online Safety Institute has also developed a checklist that includes reminders to remove and untag unwanted posts, and to “accentuate the positive” by posting upbeat content.

4. Let Your Kids Know You Will Still Monitor Online Usage

Finally, let your kids know that you may occasionally check up on their activity. Being upfront about your plans to look at their browser history and monitor their Facebook account will establish a sense of trust and keep them accountable.

For young kids who need a bit more oversight, there are plenty of helpful apps available to let you keep an eye on them. Older kids and teens may not need (or want) as much monitoring, so for them, you may be able to check in less often. To really emphasize trust, you can even ask them to put their passwords into a piggy bank for use only in an emergency.

The internet can be a great resource for helping kids learn and be social during their school-free summer months, and following the steps listed here will help them do so smartly, responsibly, and safely.

Eight Great Things to Do with Kids This Summer

Safe Search

What does it take to provide a safe web experience for kids? It takes a combination of tools and resources working together in unison: internet filtering, safe and secure browsing, parental control apps, and education regarding a variety of topics. Safer search is our mission at Safe Search Kids as we work to deliver these four cornerstones of online safety to parents, teachers, and students.



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