Talking to children about social media safety
no question that social media has radically changed the way we
communicate. In just over five years, the opportunities and
advantages for those who use it properly have exploded. However,
when not used wisely, social media can have damaging consequences.
That's why parents can't talk enough to their children about social
media safety. To help facilitate those conversations, please use the
Parents' Role Guide [PDF], Tips for Parents, and accompanying
articles, listed below.
TIPS FOR PARENTS
Reprinted with permission from Parent Today,
"Why we need to pay attention to our kids' social media"
- Open up a
dialogue. Encourage your child to stay away from
sites that promote anonymous interaction. Remind children never
to share personal information with someone they don't know, such
as allowing a program to access their location, or any personal
information that could potentially identify them (such as
hometown). Remind them that just because someone sounds like a
cool teenager doesn't mean they actually are.
- Talk to your
children about cyberbullying. Discuss how
anonymity can lead to bad behavior and cruel comments.
- Review social networking tips, and
set guidelines for what's OK to post online and what's not.
Be sure to check privacy settings on any website they
sign on to, particularly for younger children.
- Review your
child's apps and contacts on their cell phone.
Don't recognize someone? Ask why they are on your child's phone.
You have a right and an obligation to know what they are doing —
particularly if you are paying for their cell phone!
- Remind your
children to think before they post. Kindness
counts. If they wouldn't say it to someone's face, don't say it
Dignity for All Students Act and related New York State laws
make schools accountable for certain online student behavior —
especially harassment, discrimination and bullying — even when
it occurs off campus and outside of school hours. A child's
inappropriate cyber activity could have severe consequences for
his or her academic career if it creates a significant
disruption within the school.
- Be aware of
history. Check the computer's browser history
for information on sites your child is visiting. There is no
mechanism to prevent a child from saying they are over the age
of 13 when they are not. They are savvy enough to figure out how
to compute an age that makes them old enough to set up an
- Get with the
program. Check out the various websites that are
out there. Get an account for yourself and see what your
children can and can't do online.
Read connect Safely's Parent Guides on cybersecurity,
cyberbullying, instagram and snapchat
- Check the
settings on your computer to ensure as much as
possible that your child doesn't have access to inappropriate
content. Make sure parental controls are set on the computer
your child uses, or they could get an education you're not
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