All you need to do is to take a walk in the neighbourhood to see how social media channels have taken over the world! Almost everyone from old to young is holding mobile phones and showing each other viral video clips or posing in front of every mirror they see to take a selfie. At first, no one thought it would be such a big deal. However, throughout the years, the age of using social media has dropped more than what we all expected. Because of that, many parents are now worried about their kids’ online safety on these channels. As you know, Instagram is now one of the favourite apps among kids and teenagers. That proves why parents need to know about Instagram safety, what exactly is going on on these platforms and what factors should they consider when they want to take action and protect their kids’ safety. Our social media experts in YounGo Money have put together some useful information to create a complete parental guide to Instagram.
What is Instagram?
As you all know, it’s a platform for sharing photos and videos and following friends to see their life updates. Instagram was created almost 12 years ago in 2010. Looking at recent statics show that Instagram has over 1.5 billion users worldwide.
Users can also take advantage of its cool features such as:
- Tags: using this feature, users can add the Instagram ids of their friends or others to their photos and videos
- Hashtags: if someone adds hashtags in their post captions or stories other people can find their posts only by searching the hashtags.
- Direct Messages AKA DM: users can interact privately with each other using direct messages.
- Reels: a relatively new Instagram feature that lets the users make a video using different clips and music.
- Stories: uploading stories is a way of sharing photos or videos with our followers that expires within a day.
How Can I Be an Instagram User?
You only need to take some simple steps to create an account on Instagram. First of all, you need to download the app and create a username for yourself which is not been taken by anyone before. Then create a strong password, and you’re good to go!
If you want to upload photos or videos on your profile, you should know that your followers can see what you’ve posted on their news feed. You can also add some hashtags under your post to add your photo or video to that hashtag page. It’s also possible to reshare your Instagram post on other social media channels like Twitter or Facebook.
You should know that if you’ve chosen your Instagram profile to be private, only the users you’ve accepted before can see your posts.
Instagram Safety and Everything Parents Should Know about it
As we’ve mentioned earlier, Instagram is now one of the most popular apps among teenagers and younger kids. As our children spend most of their free time on these platforms, it’s vital to know the basics and potential risks of every app they use in order to help them if anything happens. It’s also a great way to get to know our children better as they share a part of their personality on these platforms that they may never show us.
Some potential risks of Instagram:
- There is no restriction on the people who can follow you and see your posts, which increases the risk of strangers contacting and meaning to take advantage of kids. On the other hand, it means your kids can access any kind of content on these apps.
- If you don’t manually change your profile setting, anyone is able to see what you’ve posted on Instagram.
- Instagram can be a place where cyberbullies easily hurt others. That’s why parents need to sit their kids down and make sure that if someone tends to bully them online, they will immediately come to you.
- Children may underestimate some risks associated with Instagram. Parents need to tell their kids how others can reach their personal information and misuse it if they haven’t secured their profile enough.
Monitoring Apps Promising Instagram Safety
There are some apps which can help parents keep track of their kids’ activity on Instagram, like SecureTeen.
In our opinion, parents should choose a monitoring app based on their needs and see what fits them best.
Parental control apps let parents see what their children have posted on their profiles, who they are messaging, and how much time they spend on these platforms. Some of these apps also let parents set limits.
However, we recommend parents sit their kids down and have an intimate conversation about potential risks and dangers and the logical solutions before and after facing them.
Are there any Parental Control features on Instagram?
There are some limited parental control options on Instagram. For instance, you can limit some users from seeing your children’s posts or restricting your kids from searching certain contacts. There are also some sensitive content or comment control options. If you haven’t found these options quite helpful, you can use parental control apps. However, as we’ve previously nothing works better than talking to the children!
How to Block Certain Content?
In recent updates on Instagram, parents are able to filter some inappropriate content to prevent their children from seeing them.
There are a few steps you should take to activate this feature:
- Go to the profile section
- Open the “Setting” and select “Account.”
- Choose “Sensitive Content Control”
Set Parental Control On Instagram
In addition to blocking explicit content, there are also other changes in the setting.
Make the account private.
Clearly, activating this option is like putting a lock on your children’s account door. That means strangers are not able to visit their profiles and see their posts without their permission. On your children’s profiles, tap the three dots and choose “Setting.” Tap on “Privacy,” and tap the toggle to make the account private.
Re-examine the accounts and followers
You can block the profiles that think are suspicious, fake, or in any way are trying to hurt your children in three simple steps.
Go to the profile of the user you want to block, tap the three dots at the top, and choose Block.
Reporting inappropriate Content on Instagram
You can report abusive posts and other content to Instagram.
There are three dots in the right corner of every post on Instagram. Tap the dots and choose “Report,” then select your reason and submit your report.
Turn the Comments off
You can choose a post from the profile, tap the three dots and turn the comments off.
Extra Tips for Instagram Safety
Besides all the methods we’ve mentioned, there are some other things you can do to make sure your children are safe on Instagram.
- Tell them how dangerous it can be when they share their personal information on Instagram, such as their number, address, etc.
- Talk about what content is considered appropriate and what is inappropriate.
- Talk about how their Instagram profile will have a safer environment when they only accept their friends and family, not strangers.
- Create a healthy and calm environment and encourage them to tell you if anyone has bullied or harassed them on Instagram.
To Wrap Up
It’s normal to be worried about our children’s safety on social media platforms like Instagram. It’s vital to increase our knowledge and keep ourselves updated to be able to help them.
Many parental control apps are now on the market to help parents keep track of their kids’ online activity easier.