5 Social Media Safety Tips for Parents

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5 Social Media Safety Tips for Parents

June 6, 2017
Green Zone

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Green Zone.
We believe this app is a STARTING POINT for your student, but that you must monitor your student on every app they are on. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at SmartSocial.com

Gray Zone

Parents and Teachers: Please note this app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Gray Zone.
Parents should participate in these apps with students to keep them safe.
Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at SmartSocial.com

Red Zone

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Red Zone. We believe this app is not safe for students to use without adult supervision. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at SmartSocial.com

Dangerous Social media challenges

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed as a Dangerous Social Media Challenge. Knowing about social media challenges before your teen does can help you keep them safe before an incident occurs. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at SmartSocial.com

Table of Contents

In this 20 minute tutorial, the SmartSocial team walks you through our top 5 social media safety tips that can help parents keep kids safe and smart online.

Almost every app has private messaging capabilities

Private messaging capabilities on apps are where we find things start to get more dangerous for students
    The main thing to look out for with apps that students are using is private messaging. Private messaging capabilities are where we find things start to get more dangerous for students. Almost every app has private messaging capabilities. Parents need to know how it works and they need to let their kids know what is appropriate to send in a private message. Teens are spending the most time on messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Kik Messenger. It's important to understand what it looks like on your child's phone, even just becoming familiar with the icon can be super helpful for parents.

No monitoring app or tool is ever better than having an open dialogue with your student

Ask your kids for advice on how to use the apps and learn from them.
    No monitoring app or tool is ever better than having a dialogue with your student before they get internet or access to a smartphone, tablet etc. No one cares more about your kids than you, especially about their safety, so it’s important for parents to be continually educating themselves because the digital space is always moving so quickly and kids and teens are always the first to jump on board. Kids will be more comfortable coming to a parent who’s open to and about the internet. Ask your kids for advice on how to use the apps and learn from them.

We are constantly hearing negative things about Kik Messenger - a red zone app

Kik allows anyone on the app to contact your child and directly message them.
    Kik allows anyone on the app to contact your child and directly message them. It has been known to allow adults to communicate with preteens and is very difficult to discern who is a predator and who is real. Some adults have been known to use this app to pretend like they are tweens and teens. Kik allows students to bypass text messaging features of their phone. Users can connect with anyone on the network and aren’t limited to their phone’s contact list. If your child has a firm understanding of what is appropriate to send in a private message and what is not, then an alternative we would suggest sending your student to would be an SMS that's already built in their phone. If they want to do something a bit more temporary or a bit more fun then they could hop on Snapchat. If your kids are dying to be on Snapchat then hang out with them there.

A digital footprint doesn't just include social media channels

What many people don't know is that a digital footprint doesn't just include social media channels.
    What many people don't know is that a digital footprint doesn't just include social media channels. Open an incognito window on your browser, search their first name and a bunch of different results will come up. It may not be results for your child but results for someone who has the same name as your child. There could be multiple platforms for people with the same name as your child. From an employer/college admission standpoint, they've never met your child so they don't know which one is your child. They have 100 other resumes to look through and trying to find your child can be exhausting for them. Being invisible or not having Google results isn't an option because either, other people will come up for their results or employers/college admissions will think they're hiding something.

A network students should be on to make a positive online image when their parents are ready

Twitter can highlight a student's goals, aspirations, hobbies, volunteer work or community service.
    Twitter
    can really highlight a student's goals, aspirations, hobbies, volunteer work or community service. All those things are what an employer and college admissions look for and it will make you stand out from others. Especially if your tweets come from a feeling of gratitude and your tweets are positive.

Bonus Tip: Search for your student incognito online

Always search for your student incognito online so your not getting polluted search results.

You should always search for your student incognito online so your not getting polluted search results from your previous cookies. Another great way to search for your student is to use your student's first+last name and the city and state you live in.

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