Social Media


The more you know about the kind of social networking sites your children belong to and what information they like to share, the more likely you’ll be able to keep them safe:

  • The age limit to join most social networking sites is 13
  • The most popular social networks include Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok and Snapchat; sites aimed at younger children, like Club Penguin and Moshi Monsters, also have a social networking element
  • Many sites include an instant message function that allows private conversations between site members
  • You can create ‘privacy settings’ on most social networking sites, so only close friends can search for your children, tag them in a photograph or share what they post
  • Most social networking sites have an app, which means your children will have access to the social network from their (or your) smartphone or tablet
  • Facebook, for example, has a setting that allows your children to approve or dismiss tags that people add to their posts
  • Information shared between friends can be easily copied and may spread widely
  • It isn’t easy to take back information once it’s online, and it can be impossible to recover after someone has shared it
  • Not everyone your child meets online will be who they say they are
  • Chat rooms and forums are one of the places that online groomers visit to connect with children; they can also be places where people use a lot of sexual language and engage in online flirting

Please see below a range of useful parent guides on the most popular social media platforms among young people. The features of each platform are explained as well as guidance on how to stay safe while using them. You can also visit https://nationalonlinesafety.com/resources/platform-guides/ for further guidance.


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