November 9th is Social Media Kindness Day. Set up in memory of Caroline Flack, on the day that would have been her birthday, it’s a great opportunity for us to consider our actions and the actions of others on social media platforms.
More and more, children are active on social media. Whilst this can connect them to friends and help to build communities, it can also be a minefield.
As parents, we know it’s important to give kids freedom as they develop, but it’s also key to keep them safe online.
Tips for parents to keep kids safe online
Start off with exploring the safety and privacy settings on any apps before deciding if it’s appropriate for your child. Most platforms have the option to make the account private, not allow friend requests and hide the user’s location.
If they do have an account, discuss this with them. Encourage them to:
Be their own person. Don’t pretend to be someone they’re not, be authentic.
Be nice. Social media can seem anonymous, but never post hurtful things, there’s a real person receiving the message.
Think about what you’re posting. Once it’s out, it’s out for everyone to see.
Don’t add/accept anyone you don’t know in real life as your friends. People can build up false profiles and they may not be all that they appear to be.
Never give your address/location on social media. Don’t share personal details, including what school you go to or any information about where you live.