The social media obsession among teenagers has put many into danger. While some have lost their lives, some others have been experiencing depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, mental and psychological disorders. The online bullying, child predation, scamming, sex offense and self-harm activities are a few examples of social media hazards. In this article, we have discussed how parents can protect the underage social media users from the vulnerabilities.
Most Common Social Media Dangers
Facebook, Instagram, and many other commonly used social media platforms have been putting the lives of younger kids into danger. They facilitate bullies and predators to victimize children without disclosing their original identities. There is no way to verify the authenticity of the information provided by the social media user. Moreover, many social apps do not offer parental controls to enable parents to manage content. We have discussed here the most common dangers of social and instant messengers.
The platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook have become safe haven for harassers. They use these socializing sites to offend, humiliate and tease the target. They post embarrassing comments on target’s social media posts; create insulting posts and send threatening messages to the target. Many children have reported experiencing cyberbullying in recent years either as a victim or witness.
The predators or pedophiles trap underage social media users for sexual abuse. They show affection to convince the target to enter into a romantic relationship. Once the target is trapped they start exploiting the victim sexually. Many online child predators also trap younger boys and girls to produce sexually explicit photos and videos.
The Blue Whale Challenge that has taken the lives of many teenagers is an example of how social media is promoting self-harm activities among children. The exploiters trap kids and get them involved in objectionable activities by playing with their minds and psyche.
How to Protect Kids from Social Media Dangers
Parents can play a pivotal role in protecting children from the most common online dangers. Here are a few most effective practices that can help you secure your teenagers and tweens from social media hazards.
Talk about Dangers
Discussions can produce great results. Many children are uninformed about the social media dangers and tricks of online criminals. It is your responsibility to educate your children about the menaces of social media sites and digital devices. They must know who cyberbullies are and how they should have contended. Inform them about child predators and their tricks to trap younger children. Having frequent discussions with your kids about the negative side of social media can encourage them to share their negative experiences. Once they share their issues, resolve them and help them make the online lives secure.
Monitor Social Media
Do you follow your kids’ social media accounts? It is necessary because it would let you know what they are up to. There are social media monitoring apps like TheOneSpy cell phone spy app that allow parents to keep tabs on every single social media activity of their kids including their chats. When you would be informed of your kids’ activities, plans, conversations, and friend-circle on social media, it would be convenient to protect them from the most common online threats.
Rules can be helpful in adopting good practices. Set a few rules to ensure kids’ online protection. Given are a few examples of the most effective rules for social media use.
- Do not allow using age-inappropriate social media apps.
- Do not allow going online late at night because this is when predators are active.
- Do not respond to bullying stuff in a furious way and do not delete harassing messages as they can be used as evidence against the bully.
- Do not accept friend requests from unknown persons.
- Set private profiles for personal use.
- Set privacy and security setting.
- Do not share passwords with anyone.
- Do not post personal information on social media.
Demonstrate Responsible Digital Behavior
Parents should demonstrate responsible digital behavior and social media use to encourage kids to adopt healthy practices. If you are obsessed with social media apps and spend most of your time online, your kids would do the same sooner or later.
Hope this article would help in protecting kids from the most common social media dangers. Keep visiting us for more information relating to parenting and social media.