It seems like almost every day there is a new social media app that kids of all ages want to be a part of. Kids crave a sense of belonging and feeling like they are a part of something.

At first glance, social media apps can seem harmless and fun, but as parents it’s important that we recognize our responsibility in helping our children stay safe.

I’m Abby Woelfel, a therapist at Cedar Tree Counseling and in this article I’m going to share three things you can do to keep your child safe on social media.


1. Set Your Child’s Account to “Private”


Whether it’s Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, TikTok, or YouTube, it’s always important to go into the account settings to set the account to private.

The default for a social media account is normally set to public. This means that anyone can see what your child is posting.

When you set the account to private, this means that only the people that you and your child approve to “follow” them can see. It’s best practice to manage settings for every single app the child has because of the differences in each app.

Some settings allow you to block certain users, limit usage of the app for the child, manage being tagged in other pictures posted from other users, and more.


2. Turn Off Geolocation


Some apps have tracking so other people on the app can see where your child is. Apps like Snapchat have an option to turn off the location so that they cannot be located.

By going into the settings, users can easily turn off the location feature, which means they cannot be located by others on the app.


3. Have a Conversation About Keeping Private Information Private


It’s important that children understand what information should remain private.

It’s easy for children to think that posting their age, their sex, where they go to school, or where they live, is harmless information that won’t go anywhere. However, any bit of personal information can be used to steal their identity, access their data, or other illegal and harmful things.

Having conversations with your child about what information should remain private is important so that you are on the same page, and their privacy is protected.

This should also include who they are talking to. Your child should never talk to people online that they don’t know. It’s common for strangers to attempt to talk to people they don’t know online. It’s also easy to find accounts of people you don’t know.

Before putting these 3 things in place, start with having these conversations with your children about the boundaries your household will have around social media.

And, if you would like help having these conversations, please reach out and schedule an appointment with us at Cedar Tree today.

Abby Woelfel

Abby Woelfel

Adolescents and Adults

I understand how challenging it can be to move forward in a way that helps you feel like you have a handle on things instead of juggling yet another overwhelming situation.

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