If your child does have an Instagram account and you are concerned about their safety, but don’t want to force your child to deactivate their account, there are many ways that you can still protect them online. As we have mentioned earlier there is an increasingly notable pressure for children to have social media accounts and to be actively posting on them. Many children feel they will be isolated or will ‘miss out’ on something if they do not have social media accounts. Here are our top 10 tips on how to keep your child safe on Instagram:
- LAY DOWN THE LAW
Remind your child that social media use is a privilege that will be revoked if you deem their conduct online to be unsafe or unacceptable. Set guidelines for your child to follow when using social media such as don’t talk to strangers, only interact with people you know in real life, do not use social media in private or for prolonged periods of time, don’t give out personal information etc. It is important however to ensure your child feels comfortable to tell you if something goes wrong online. Many children withhold information about things troubling them online out of fear their parents will revoke their internet privileges, remind your child it is important they tell you if something or someone is bothering them on Instagram.
- MONITOR WHO THEY ARE FOLLOWING AND WHO IS FOLLOWING THEM
Children feel pressured to have a large number of followers on Instagram, which often results in them accepting follow requests from people who they do not know. Go through the lists of followers and following on your child’s Instagram page and ask your child how they know each person.
- CHECK DIRECT MESSAGES
Make sure you know who your child is speaking to on Instagram Direct Messenger, as it is possible for ANY Instagram user to contact them find out more here.
- CHECK RECENTLY LIKED
This provides a good insight into who your child is engaging with on social media, simply follow these steps on the images below. You have to be LOGGED IN to your child’s Instagram account to access this.
5.CHECK POPULARS PAGE
This is a great way to see who is in your child’s network on Instagram. Photos that feature on the popular page are determined by an algorithm that includes photos from users who your child follows, photos from users who are following your child, photos that are popular in the country you are accessing Instagram from, photos that have been liked or commented on by people who follow your child or who your child is following. If you don’t like a certain image featured on your child’s popular page, click the image, go to that person’s profile and BLOCK them.
- SET ACCOUNT TO PRIVATE
Make sure your child’s account is set to private, everything you need to know about Instagram privacy settings can be found here.
- VIEW THEIR POSTS
Go on to your child’s profile and check the images they have been posting. Ensure they do not give away to much information about your child’s life such as school uniforms, sporting club uniforms, photos geographically tagged to certain locations etc.
- CHECK LIKES AND COMMENTS ON THEIR PICTURES
Check the users who have liked photos your child has put on Instagram. Do you know them? Does your child know them? Also check who is leaving comments on your child’s posts.
- CHECK INFORMATION IN BIO
Everything you need to know about protecting your child’s Instagram bio information can be found here. This is accessible to ANY Instagram user so ensure it does not provide detailed information about your child such as age, postcode, school etc.
- MONITOR REGULARLY
Ensure you make a habit of regularly checking up on your child’s Instagram account. Recently a father from WA was left devastated after discovering his daughter was being targeted by a predator on social media!