Social Media: Let’s Talk About It - Part Three

Part three – The Parent’s Guide to Social Media Protection 

 

Sharing information and images through social networks is part of daily life for many children and young people. Social networks allow children to communicate with each other and record and share what they are doing in real time. An unintended consequence of social media means that it's not uncommon for kids to connect with people they've never met. 

 

As children become more independent, we often encourage parents to support them to develop a sense of responsibility.

 

However, adoptive children and young people can be more at risk from oversharing and as a result render themselves vulnerable; it is therefore so important to understand online safety and for parents to continue to have open conversations about it with their children when the time comes. 

 

We’ve put together a list of tools to help parents develop a sense of security and control over what their children are seeing and doing on social media. 

 

Google SafeSearch  

 

  • SafeSearch is a feature in Google Search and Google Images that can be used as an automatic filter for unsavoury content and potentially offensive and inappropriate content. 

 

Using the settings already in the app 

 

Instagram  

 

  • You can change the account settings to private, which will allow your content to be seen only by approved users. Unwanted accounts can also be reported and blocked for abusive content or harassment. 
  • Using the “Comment Controls” you can manage engagements and avoid unwanted comments. This is possible using the block and report tools as well. 
  • The Activity Dashboard can help manage the time spent on the app by allowing you mute notifications starting at the hour of your choosing and daily time limit reminders. 

 

Twitter

 

  • To avoid inappropriate content or harassment the privacy and safety features can block and report users 
  • It also allows control over who can contact and what personal data is visible to all users.  

 

Snapchat

 

  • You can control important safety features such as who can see your location and who can view your story. 

 

TikTok

 

  • The Screen Time Management feature allows you to set a daily limit for use from 40 minutes to up to 2 hours. 
  • Adult content can be blocked using the Restricted Mode. Although with search, content can still be found even with the filter turned on. 
  • You can sync your own account with your child’s using the Family Pairing feature. 
  • You can set a password lock on your child’s account to prevent them from changing the settings. 

 

Remember! Children can re-download TikTok at any time and create a new account with a different phone number or email address, so the controls you enable are not fool proof. 

 

Facebook  

 

  • The Privacy Check-Up feature allows you to view your current privacy and adjust them to your preferences.  
  • You can select which posts and elements of your profile are visible.
  • You can change your account settings to restrict who your account is visible to and who can send you a Friend Request.  

The settings also allow you to manage your screentime by enabling quiet mode, scheduled quiet modes or daily limit reminders. 

 

Parent controls on devices 

 

Google Play Store on Android Devices

 

  • You can restrict apps, games, movies, and TV your child tries to download from the Google Play Store.  
  • It also allows you to select the type of content you want to filter and how you want to restrict access. 

 

Amazon Fire Controls 

 

  • FreeTime (built into every device) restricts purchases, bans ads, and allows access only to content you approve. 
  • You can set time restrictions for various activities and prevent the playing of games or videos until your child, say, reads for a set amount of time.  
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