Social Networking May be Great, But How Do You Keep Your Kids Safe?

They love them, and oftentimes it may seem as if your teen can’t live without them.

Websites and apps, such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and WhatsApp, and the prevalence of smartphones among kids have taken social networking to new levels.

You want your child to be safe, but it’s challenging to keep up with this ever-changing technology. You may also feel like your child is much more Internet-savvy than you are. Still, as savvy as your teen may be, he or she may not be fully aware of the dangers of online networking and the precautions they need to take.

The following information from the National Crime Prevention Council will help you better understand social networking and talk to your teen about staying safe.

Social networking basics

Familiarizing yourself with the basic terminology used on most social networking sites will help you communicate effectively with your teen about the topic. Here are a few words you’ll hear often:

Post — A message that notifies friends and followers about what you are doing or thinking.

Tag — To label friends in a photo and link to their profile pages. People who are “tagged” can then decide whether to stay linked to the comment, video, or photo.

Wall — The area on your profile where the user and their friends can post their location, comments, pictures, or other information.

Places — This feature allows a user to post his or her location. This information is then shared with the user’s friends and followers.

Friend request — A person interested in being a “friend” on social media will send a request, which the user can either accept or deny.

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