The internet has advanced so much since it's incarnation. Over the decade, social media has evolved into a dominant and inseparable aspect of our lives. With the advancement of technology, we’ve not only equipped ourselves with endless information at our fingertips but also put ourselves at a vulnerable spot, standing before a whole new world of jeopardy. As dark and dangerous as the internet is, it is filled with scammers, child predators, inappropriate and dangerous content, misinformation, cyberbullying, harassment, etc. The consequences can be grave when your child or teenager is exposed to it. Denying them access to social media is not only impossible but also unfair to them. This can be best handled by granting them access, tracking their digital footprint, and monitoring their activities.
Check out these seven tips for monitoring your child's social media activity and ensuring their safety.
- Connect With Them On Social Media
Follow/friend your child on social media. It is one of the basic ways to navigate what is going on in their lives. While you won't be able to view any private messages, you will be able to see what they and their friends are posting/sharing. This will enable you to keep track of the pages they like, the people they follow, etc. Additionally, you will better comprehend their interests. Using convenient ways like sharing funny and interactive videos can help you maintain a relationship with your kids online. This way, you can remain connected without compromising their privacy.
- Monitor Their Activity By Hacking Their Account-
It is a matter of concern when your child acts suspiciously like sitting alone while browning social media, getting conscious when you’re around, or refusing to show what they’re doing online. As a precautionary measure, you can closely track your child's online behaviour by hacking their social media accounts. Here’s how you can hack someone’s Instagram- Install SpyApps and surveil your child’s activities with the help of a private Control Panel. With SpyApps, you can remotely monitor activities like viewing their messages, tracking their likes and comments, and browsing their stories, photos, GIFs, and videos.
- Enable Parental Control And Restriction Features-
Often, children in their quest to know more may inadvertently engage in risky online behaviour. For some kids, such access to unlimited content may not be appropriate based on their age and developmental stage. Installing parental control software on all your internet-connected devices is a great way to help regulate your children’s online habits. Apps like Kidlogger and Google's SafeSearch allow you to block or filter search results that contain explicit photos, videos, and websites.
- Keep Track Of Their Digital Footprint And Social Media History-
Go through your child’s social media history regularly. Scroll through their full browsing history to check the tabs they open to message people, the kind of content they consume the most, the sites they searched for, etc. The last few items they searched for and who they messaged are also displayed in their accounts since all social media accounts track this information. Keeping an eye on your child's social media accounts is easy with this feature.
- Install Censor Apps, Set Screen Time-
Set a good example by establishing screen time limits by installing apps like RealizD. With this application, you can view easy-to-read charts on how long your child spends on these devices and which apps he or she uses most. With Google Family Link, you can manage screen time, lock devices completely, and lock apps. Additionally, it censors apps you don't want your child to use. Your child might have fun tagging posts/stories photos with a location. Broadcasting precise whereabouts to the world could be a threat to their safety. So, disable location services from their devices.
- Set Ground Rules at home-
Set up your computer system in a common area of your house, or make your child sit in the common area when you give them a device. This will facilitate monitoring what your child is viewing online. Since you'll be around, it will deter them from visiting pages/sites or performing activities they're not allowed to do. Request to have access to your child's account credentials if she or he wishes to create a social media account. In this way, you can keep an eye out for undesirable activities, such as adding strangers, exchanging questionable messages, and posting inappropriate content.
- Instill an open communication environment at home-
Your child is part of a generation that has never known a world without the internet. Considering that they are likely to go online at a much younger age than you were, it is vital to educate them at an early age about the associated risks, including predators, scams, catfishing and cyberbullying. Your role as a parent is to guide and supervise your children as they navigate the ongoing changes in the online world, ensuring they become confident and safe digital citizens. Make sure to maintain a judgment-free atmosphere, so they don't feel guilty to open up about a disastrous social media encounter.
A Final Note To All The Parents Out There
Dear parents, your kids will eventually use the internet and create social media accounts. It is wise to educate and equip yourself with the risks and benefits of social media. So that when your little one goes online, a layer of protection could be supplemented through your knowledge and supervision. It's understandable that at a certain point some parents might feel they’re intruding on their child's privacy, but rest assured that you are doing your part to ensure their security.
Sure, you want to give your child space but not at the cost of their safety, right?