Ever since the coronavirus outbreak began, our kids and teens have spent more time on the internet, browsing through their social media apps, more than ever before. Gone are the times when kids and teens simply used the internet to connect with friends or complete school homework and assignments.
Now, with so many social media apps and gaming platforms, kids have more opportunities of seeking entertainment online. The internet and social media have become an integral part of everyone’s lives, especially the younger generation. Since last year, kids and teens have spent a large chunk of their day on the internet while taking online classes.
The more kids spend time online, the more they are likely to come across unpleasant things there. While we cannot help but let our kids use the internet to attend online classes and connect with people on social media, what we can do is ensure online safety for them.
Your kid spending too much time on Facebook can be alarming because you cannot know what dangers might be waiting for them on the other end. You can either help them set privacy settings on their Facebook or hack Facebook of your kid with the help of a monitoring app.
Importance of Kids Safety on the Internet and Social Media
Facebook’s Head of Safety, Amber Hawkes shared her thoughts on keeping kids safe on the internet and social media platforms including Facebook. She told how parents can ensure online safety for themselves as well as their young ones.
We are living in the digital age where kids are exposed to electronic devices since birth. Their association with devices begins by observing their parents using their devices. Then, there comes a time when they start demanding their own devices. Therefore, parents should never delay having a conversation with kids about online safety.
Each social media app including Facebook is laden with several online threats that can be menacing to a kid’s mental and physiological health. Due to a lack of information on those online threats, kids can be exposed to them, and consequently, suffer from various problems.
Kids and teens often face problems while using social media platforms because they cannot identify those dangers that lurk around them all the time. That happens because of a lack of information about those dangers. It is the parent’s responsibility to inform their kids about the importance of online safety.
They should make kids understand that access to various electronic devices, the internet, and social media apps comes with a huge responsibility. They also play a vital role in keeping themselves and others safe on the internet. Kids are more vulnerable on apps like Facebook than adults because they are innocent and immature.
Being the Head of Safety at Facebook, Hawkes admitted that it is her responsibility to ensure kids stay safe on the platform. Besides the numerous privacy, security, and safety features that are available to Facebook users, the platform has also placed additional protections to keep minors safe.
She told that each individual needs to be at least 13 years old before they can join Facebook. However, in some countries, the age limit may differ. The privacy as well as visibility settings are more preventive and limiting for younger ones than adults.
For instance, on Facebook Messenger, instant messages sent to younger ones from strangers who are not in their friend’s list, or friends or friends, are filtered out of the minor’s inbox and directly send to the spam folder. That way, minors do not receive messages from any strangers and stay away from the reach of online predators.
It is suggested that parents learn how to use the Facebook platform, know about its privacy and security features, know about the dangers lurking on the platform, and also have knowledge of all the tips and techniques to keep their kids safe on the platform.
Tips for Keeping Kids Safe on Facebook
Amber Hawkes has shared some important and helpful tips for keeping the young ones safe on social media platforms especially Facebook. Parents need to take a notice of them and implement them to protect kids from harmful online dangers.
Take Interest in their Facebook Activities
First and foremost, you need to take interest in your kid’s social media activities and be involved in their digital lives as much as you can. If your kid is playing a game on Facebook, make sure you sit with them while they’re playing it. Similarly, if they are chatting with someone on Facebook Messenger, make sure you know about that person.
If your kid has an account on Facebook, you should also add them as a friend there or follow their Facebook page, if they have created one. You need to stay informed of all the people they are connecting with on Facebook and all the things they are sharing on their feeds. If you take interest in their Facebook activities, you will find your kids coming to you if they experience or see something that makes them feel uncomfortable.
Enable Privacy and Security Settings
Facebook comes with numerous privacy and security settings that allow users to manage and control their accounts. On Facebook, you can control what you share, who you share something with, what you can see, and who can contact you on Facebook. The same privacy settings can be enabled for your kid’s Facebook account as well. Many of these settings are already enabled on your kid’s account by default, but it’s recommended to go through the settings regularly to check if they are still there.
Create Family Rules
You should create some family rules for using technology, accessing electronic devices, the internet, and social media apps. After creating those rules, you should also state the consequences for breaking them. For example, you should create a house rule by not allowing your kids and yourself to use electronic devices at the time of dinner and before going to bed.
If anyone of you finds yourself violating that rule, be prepared to face the consequences. Setting up family rules will help you and your kids follow a particular routine and not heavily indulge in social media usage.
Become a Good Digital Role Model
Nobody apart from parents can be a good digital role model for their kids. Kids tend to imitate their parents’ habits and behaviors because they look up to them in every aspect. Therefore, if parents want their kids to stay safe on Facebook or any other social media app, they need to create and follow some rules for themselves.
They should not excessively use Facebook in front of their kids, especially during mealtime and bedtime. Also, if you set a house rule such as “no more use of devices after 8 p.m.” or “no devices in the bedroom or bathroom”, make sure you follow them. Once you follow them, your kids will follow them too.
Use Monitoring/Parental Control Apps
Last but not least, you can protect your kids from objectionable content, online predators, and cyberbullies on Facebook by using a monitoring or parental control app. Apps like Mobistealth have proven to be beneficial in keeping your kids safe on social media.
Instead of looking for free methods on the internet on how to hack a Facebook account, you should opt for a reliable and professional monitoring app that also provides the Facebook monitoring feature. With a monitoring app, you can remotely monitor and view all your kid’s Facebook activity and ensure their safety there.