For a parent in today’s digitally savvy world–where selfies are bae and emojis a way of life–it creates an added responsibility to ensure your teen is safe when he or she goes online and has the kindest, most fulfilling experience. While you could literally be the best at everything you do, we have curated a few useful tips from Instagram that will help keep your teen safe online, and make you the #instasavvy parent he/she will adore.
Get your Insta-game on
As parents, many of us don’t understand what Instagram is or what it does – admit it and get online! There’s no easier way for you to understand why your teen is on the community till you get onto it, and find out its pros and cons. Once this is done, spend time learning about the variety of tools it offers so you can educate your teen to make sure he/she makes good choices online, leading to an overall positive experience. An informed parent will create an informed teen and that is key.
Manage your family’s time online together
Setting a time limit for accessing social media can prove to be helpful. An added element is, replicating this with every member of the family and not just your teens. Set a family limit for time spent online that will help in making the field level and show your teens that you too will get to spend the same amount of time that they do. This will help them better understand the value and importance of your decision. Via the Activity dashboard – every user can review the amount of time he/she spend on the community – in a day or even through the past week along with an analysis of average time spent. To control the amount of time your family and you spend online you can set a daily reminder, a timer which sends an alert when you’ve exceeded what you set as an appropriate amount of time on the app; and mute push notifications setting to limit notifications.
Unlearn and learn how to do Instagram right with your teen
Learning how to use the community and its various features is a great way to start a conversation with your teen about Instagram. This also gives you the chance to talk about making their account a private profile, ensuring that they have full control over the content they post and their experience is safe! Along the way, not only will you find a non-intrusive way to be a part of your teens Instagram presence but also up your Insta-game! Setting your account to private is simple – go to the “Settings” gear from your profile page, and toggle “Private Account” to the “on” position.
Create a strict ‘say no to bullies’ policy at home
Whether its offline or online, bullying in any form can hinder your teen’s well-being and if consistent, even have drastic repercussions. To ensure your teen is not targeted by any form of mental abuse online ensure that you have an open channel of communication with him/her so he/she feels that the first step to address the issue is to have a conversation with you. Also make sure that the offensive comment filter is turned on in his/her Instagram profile. This filter will automatically hide comments containing attacks on a person’s appearance or character, as well as threats to a person’s well-being or health. If the issue remains persistent or you spot an account, photo, video or comments that are intended to bully or harass someone, you can report it from within the app by visiting “…” on a post and clicking on “Report.”
Along with ensuring that your own teen has a safe experience, it’s equally important to make your teen understand the importance of ensuing others have a similar experience too. Have an open dialogue with your teen about commenting right and identifying comments that might be offensive/derogatory. Instagram’s offensive comments filter automatically hides offensive or inappropriate comments, so people never have to see them. Additionally, one can also modify/customise the filter to reflect specific keywords and emojis that one might find offensive. Beyond this, to make sure your teens have a positive experience when they come on Instagram they can also swipe to delete comments, report inappropriate comments, and block accounts that might be hindering their experience on the community.