A Guide to Keeping Your Children Safe on Social Media

social media

FILE PHOTO: Social Media icons.

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Social media is no longer an optional addition to your child’s life. It is an integral part of day-to-day communication and their sense of belonging.

Yet the dangers in it are apparent, particularly for younger children who are growing up in the online world but don’t fully understand it. Luckily, with our helpful tips below, as a Nigerian parent, you can keep your child safe.

Talk to Them Regularly

In the US and UK, there is a disconnect between parents and children regarding the approach to social media.

A recent survey by ExpressVPN said that only a quarter of parents allowed their children to open social media accounts. Yet over half of the children surveyed had a social media account, more so in the US than in the UK.

This shows that many parents don’t understand what their children are doing online. While these platforms are only just becoming more prevalent in Nigeria, the lesson is that social media is coming, if you like it or not.

The first thing to do is make sure you talk to your children about it. Fighting against your children, and trying to keep them off the internet will be almost impossible.

Today, many children’s lives are online and it is better if you can talk to them about the dangers and keep them safe than have them do it without your knowledge.

Concentrate on giving guidance, telling them how to be safe, and incorporating this with the supervision of their social accounts.

In exchange, ask them to tell you about what is going on online. Are there any trends or videos they have found that are interesting? This will also help you learn.

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Make Sure They Have Private Accounts

When they open a social account, you can ensure they do everything possible to keep it safe. Make sure they have the highest-level privacy settings turned on so that people cannot access their profile easily.

There are new social media security settings added regularly, so check back to ensure you enable them.

Most social media accounts, even ones that thrive on social sharing like TikTok, can be set to private. This means it will be accessed mainly by friends who have requested the link. It keeps their details away from anyone who may have ill intentions.

Finally, as part of your discussions, ensure your children know what can be posted online and what shouldn’t. Any personal details should remain private. Phone numbers, addresses, and even location details in pictures and posts should be turned off.

Set Rules

As part of your dialogue with your children, set rules. As you are allowing them access to social media, they should be willing to meet you halfway and abide by the frameworks in place. To make it more acceptable for them, you may even decide on the rules together.

Ensure you begin by placing time limits and restrictions on social media. Mobile devices have software that will help check how much time they have been online. You can even get third-party help from software developers like Cloud Campaign.

Limit this each day and set times at night when social media is turned off for the day.

There are other ways you can keep your children safe, but these are the most vital ones. With education and open dialogue, your child should be able to navigate the pitfalls of social media easily.

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