Social networking sites have infiltrated our lives. You can’t turn on your TV, open a magazine, or talk to a teenager without hearing the word “MySpace” or about other social networking sites. With users on these sites growing like wildfire, they are more and more likely to be used not only by your tweens friends, but also by sexual or other types or predators. In a perfect world, we could ban our tweens from using these sites. Banning them could backfire, they could resort to secret accounts or logging on at their friends houses. The following ten tips will make your tweens safer on social networking sites.
- Do Not Put a Computer In Your Tween’s Room
While many parents allow their tweens to have computers in their bedrooms for educational purposes, most of the time the computer will be used for socialization. If the computer is placed in a common area you will be able to better monitor your tween’s computer activities.
- Do Not Let Children Post Photos of Themselves or Their Friends
Predators will often scan social networking sites looking for young looking kids. If you child has pictures of themselves or their friends the predators will know how young your child really is.
- Do Not Let Tweens Post Their Location On Sites
Social networking sites such as MySpace have areas to input your location. Have you children list their location as their state, country, or use a phrase such as “nowhere”. Never let them post their school or city. This will make it harder for predators to find where your child actually is. It is much safer to have your child post generic pictures such as animals or symbols they may like. Instagram Private Profile Viewer Online will be beneficial for the person with animals and plants. The pictures of the animals and plants can be posted on the account with some considerations. The uploading of the photos will be safe and secure for the person. Besides it, no sharing of the location will be done with safety.
- Make Your Tween Set Their Profile To Private
If your tweens set their profile to private only those people on her friend list can read her entire profile. This is also a great tip because even if your child doesn’t list their age or location one of their friends may. This will allow predators to deduce your child’s age and location as well.
- Do Not Allow Your Tween To Accept Friends They Do Not Know In Real Life
Inform your child that they are only allowed to add people that they know in real life. Do not allow them to add strangers or friends of friends. Predators may read your child’s buddy list and claim to know one of their friends when in actuality they do not.
- Set Your Tweens Profile To Only Accept Invitations From People They Know
Tweens can set their profile to ask potential friends to verify that they know know your child before they can submit a friend request. The sites will ask the person requesting to be friends with them questions such as your child’s full name or their e-mail.
- Know your Tween’s Password
Tell your tween that they must let you know your password and inform them that you will be going on their accounts regularly. This will prevent them from having secrets from you and will increase their safety immensely.
- Make Your Own Social Networking Profile
Make your own social networking profile and have your name be something along the line of “Tween’s Mom”. Have your child make you their top friend so that any potential predators know that you are not only aware but are also monitoring your child’s internet activity.
- Search The Social Networking Sites Regularly
As honest as we believe our children to be, they can sometimes be the complete opposite. Tweens may make two or more profiles. They may tell you about one profile and have a secret profile that breaks all your rules. If you regularly go online and search for profiles fitting your child’s statistics you will be more likely to find secret profiles your tween may have created. You should also check their friend’s profiles to see if they have added more than one of your tween’s profiles to their profile.
- Talk To Your Tween
The most important part of parenting is communication. Have an open and honest discussion with your tween about the dangers of social networking sites. Inform them that not everyone is who they say they are, and not everyone is on these sites just to make friends. You should also tell them that it is your job as a parent to keep them safe first, and happy second. This simple dialog will help more than you will ever realize to keep your tween safe on social networking sites.