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Keeping Our Children Safe Online

By Kenna Lewis, Social Centric Media

Keeping Our Children Safe OnlineOur teenagers spend most of their time on social media — messaging each other, sharing pictures, videos and thoughts, reading the thoughts and feelings of others, and meeting new people.

As a parent, this can feel terrifying and overwhelming. There are so many different social media apps out there, it’s hard for anyone to keep track and nearly impossible to know everything about all of them. What apps is your teen using? Facebook. Twitter. Snapchat. Kik. Vine. YouTube. Reddit. Tumblr. Instagram. Wikipedia lists more than 100 social media sites and that is not even half of them.

Social Media Tips and Tools
So, what do you, as a parent, need to be aware of? What can you do to help protect and educate your teen? Here are some tools and tips on how to make these conversations with your children go smoothly.

4 Be Social, Stay Safe Rules
1. Show Me
Ask your child to show you the sites they use. Show an interest, take note of the sites your children visit and re-visit them when you are alone.

2. Private Profile Settings
Ask your child to set their profile settings to private. Children use social media to share everything they do, setting their profile to private can protect them against photos, personal information, or even their location, ending up in the wrong hands.

3. Online Friends
Ask your children about their online friends.
Educate your children that people can create fake identities online and lie about who they are. Your children should know never to give out any personal information and to only add “friends” that they know and trust in the real world.

4. Content Check
Ask your child to only share content that they wouldn’t mind showing you first. Talk to your child about the content they post, the sites and apps they are using to share, and who they are sending the content to.

By talking with your child and educating yourself about the dangers of the internet and the sites they are using, they are more likely to turn to you if they get into a situation online where they don’t feel comfortable or they see something they don’t like. Always keep the lines of communication open!

To learn more or for help managing social media for your business, contact Kenna Lewis with Social Centric Media at 816.582.7366, or visit online at

Dos and Don’ts for Discussing Social Media Safety
DON’T make social media a forbidden fruit.
DO keep the conversation age-appropriate.
DO make your teen the expert.
DON’T belittle your teen’s interest in social media.
DO be transparent about monitoring.
DO remind your kids that the Internet is not private.

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