Social media is here to stay, and it’s likely that your children will sign up for these platforms at some point in the future if they haven’t done so already. You may feel a bit powerless in protecting your child in the online world, with the fear of bullying, scams and online grooming looming in the mind of every parent. Education on online safety is the only solution and using this advice shared by a prep school in Northampton, you can make sure your child makes safe and smart choices when using social media.
Explain The Risks
Young people can’t keep themselves safe unless they understand the threats they are facing. It’s important to have serious, informative conversations about the risks of social media and explain why certain rules are in place. Online predators are cunning and use manipulation and deception to exploit young people online. Children should know not to engage with anyone that they haven’t met in real life, even if the person appears to be their own age. Explain how some people may use ‘catfish’ accounts to pose as someone they aren’t to gain access to children. Online scammers may also trick children into sharing personal details or signing up for things unknowingly.
Talk About Bullying
Social media gives bullies a barrier to hide behind, meaning that people feel they can get away with saying things they wouldn’t risk saying in real life. Children experiencing bullying online may feel powerless to control their situation. It’s important they realise that online abuse is still abuse, and it should be reported and dealt with in the same way. Encourage your child to talk to you if they receive nasty comments online and show them how to block and report anyone who sends abusive messages. Equally, teach your children that if they are found to be bullying or harassing anyone else, the consequences will be the same as if they were to do this in real life.
Teach Them About Privacy
It is important that their social media accounts are set to private, with only friends and family members allowed access. Even with these measures in place, your child should be mindful of the content they share and understand that once something has been posted, it is out there forever. They may feel they trust certain people enough to share private images or messages, however, ultimately they have no control over who else these are sent to and where they end up. Aside from this, they should understand they must never share their location online, or post anything which shows their school or home address. It is important they understand that predators could use this information to locate them, putting their real-life safety at risk.