Are you active enough in keeping your kids safe on social media? Most parents think that they are, but they really aren’t. They need to not only protect their kids’ future reputations online, but also help them stay safe from predators and bullies. There are many different ways to do this, from using a catch a cheater app to limiting Internet access. If you don’t know where to begin, start by adopting these social media rules and enforce them. Sit down with your kids and discuss them. Then, write up a contract agreeing that they’ll follow these rules. If they don’t, follow up with appropriate consequences, like taking away their smartphones.
Parents Must Be Able To See Every Post
Kids have ways to exclude certain people from seeing their posts. So it’s possible that your child could post something inappropriate and use privacy settings to make sure you don’t see it. Make your child agree, in writing, to never exclude you from their posts. You should always be able to see what they post on social media. If you really want to make sure that they aren’t hiding anything from you, consider using monitoring software, like a catch a cheater app, that lets you see everything they type and post.
Only Parents Can Approve Friend Requests
This is an important one. You should be the only one accepting friend requests for your child, so their friends list isn’t filled with people they don’t actually know. Before accepting someone’s request, ask your child who they are, how they know them, and if they know them in real life or just online. If you don’t think the account is legitimate or your child can’t verify who they are, just delete the person’s request and block them.
Spell Out Photo Posting Rules
Be sure to have a section for photos in your social media rules. Talk to your kids about what types of photos are okay to post, and which ones aren’t. A good rule of thumb is to only post photos of your child where they’re fully dressed. Explain to your child why that’s so important, and talk to them about privacy settings, too. It’s essential that your child understands the possible consequences of posting inappropriate photos. If they’re unsure, tell them they can come and ask you if a photo is appropriate for social media.
Make The Consequences Clear
Once you both have agreed on your social media rules and written them out, add a section outlining the consequences of breaking them. Spelling them out is necessary so your child fully understands what they are agreeing to. One consequence may be using a catch a cheater app to constantly monitor their Internet activity. Once you’ve established the rules and consequences of social media, both of you should sign the contract so you’re on the same page.