With the extent of social media apps available today, it’s not uncommon to find kids with accounts on each. They love sharing their personal lives, their day-to-day activities, and more with their friends and followers. While this can be a lot of fun, there are always two sides to a coin.
With the rates of cybercrime increasing worldwide, kids also need to learn how to keep themselves and their personal information safe when online. It’s very easy for hackers or suspicious individuals to get someone’s phone number and call them, and people often have to use a reverse phone number lookup to find out who’s doing so.
This guide dives into five ways in which kids can be safe online.
5 Ways For Kids to Remain Safe on Social Media
Always Keep Your Account Private
Social media apps often give you the options to choose between keeping your accounts public or pirate, like Instagram. Facebook gives users the option to lock their profiles if they don’t want outsiders getting access to their personal information.
These privacy settings are a helpful first line of defense to keep yourself safe online. It prevents suspicious people from using your profile pictures, getting access to your contact information, or any other details that can be used against you to defame you, extort money, or put you in some kind of physical danger.
As kids often like sharing their fancy lives on social media with everyone, including those who don’t follow them, they must realize the dangers that an open profile can present. Here’s how they can make their account private if they want to –
- Click on the hamburger icon on the top right-hand corner of the profile and tap Settings.
- Click on Privacy and enable the setting that reads Private Account.
This ensures that only those people who follow them will be able to see their personal information and any other updates, while others will have to request to follow them.
Set Strong Passwords
While many kids often know the importance of setting strong passwords for their social media accounts, newbies and younger kids might prefer simpler passwords like their best friend’s name, their pet’s name, or their date of birth. While these can often be easy to remember, they can also make it easy for someone to hack into their Facebook account by simply entering their email and password.
The solution here is to use a good password manager that can store their passwords for them, and this is something that parents can enable to keep their kids safe. Alternatively, they must set a long password that contains both upper and lower case characters and is alphanumeric.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is possibly one of the best ways of keeping your account secure. It adds a second layer of protection while logging into each of your accounts to keep them safe from people who might manage to gain access to the target’s email ID and password. This system sends a code to the user’s mobile number or email ID whenever someone new tries logging into the account. It’s only when they enter this code will they be granted access to the account.
As a result, while a hacker might have managed to find out their child’s email ID and password, chances are, they won’t have access to their mobile where from which they can read and enter the code sent to the user.
Only Add Known and Trusted People to Your Friends List
As kids, you might often like the idea of having a long list of friends or followers. However, this can often come at the cost of your own safety. While it might be nice to brag about a long list of followers as you keep accepting requests from random people, some of these people can also use your personal information and updates to harm you in some way or steal your data.
As a best practice, it’s always wise only to accept friend requests and or follow requests from people you’ve met personally, know of, or trust. This way, you can ensure to keep yourself as safe as possible online on social media apps.
Feel Free to Block Someone Who Makes You Uncomfortable
Social media apps always give you an option to report or block someone who makes you uncomfortable, misuses your images or information, or sexually harasses you. These options are given to help you remain safe at all times, and as a result, you must not hesitate to use them whenever you need to. If someone on social media harasses you, misuses your information, or bullies you, you can always report them for their behavior and then block them. In fact, apps like Instagram also give you the option to block any new profiles the person might make, protecting you even in the future.
There are several ways in which people hack into someone’s social media account online. One of the most common methods worldwide is the use of phone tracking apps. While these are often used by parents to keep their kids safe or by employers to keep track of what their employees are doing, they can also be used to hack into your devices and steal your information.