Instagram gives parents tips to keep their kids safe online

Instagram gives parents tips to keep their kids safe online

Social media is tricky, but Instagram tries to help parents keep track of how their kids are using the app.

Menlo Park, CA – Teens are often more adept at using social media than their parents, but that shouldn’t mean parents can’t understand what their kids are doing on social media.

Instagram has new suggestions for parents who want to keep their kids safe on social media. © Collage: Instagram, 123RF / maxkabakov

That’s why Instagram gives parents and guardians clear advice on how to make sure their kids are using the platform safely. The advice is likely also directed at parents whose concerns have been raised by recent headlines about Instagram’s impact on mental health.

New guidelines after then-parent company Facebook came under scrutiny when a whistleblower disclosed information showing the company was dismissing internal concerns about the psychological damage Instagram was causing to teens.

The effort to make Instagram safer for teens comes after company whistleblower Frances Haugen accused the company in October of dismissing internal concerns that Instagram was exacerbating women’s body image issues. one in three young girls and even triggered suicidal thoughts in some adolescents.

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Allegations made by Haugen, a former Facebook executive, reinforced the case of criticism of Facebook in the US Congress pushing for the company’s dissolution.

Instagram's parent company, Facebook / Meta, could definitely use some guidelines ...

Instagram’s parent company, Facebook / Meta, could definitely use some guidelines … © IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

Instagram is now showing parents what exactly they need to do to make the platform safer for their children. Here are some of the most important parameters suggested by the company.

If you don’t want your child’s content to be visible to everyone on or off Instagram, you should check the privacy settings with your child.

There, a public account can be turned into a private account. This means that anything they post will only be shared with subscribers. For minors registering for the first time on Instagram, the setting is automatically set to “private”.

You and your child can block anyone you don’t want to see or be approached by on Instagram. To do this, click on the profile of the contact you want to block and then click on the three dots at the top right.

All new accounts created by a blocked user can also be blocked. Blocks can also be deleted again in the settings. The user you block will not be notified of these actions.

Under “Your Activity” in your own profile, you can see how much time your child spends on Instagram on average each day. If you have agreed on a certain time of use with your child, you can set up a daily reminder in the same place as soon as the agreed time is reached.

Facebook researchers said that for many teens – especially girls – Instagram increases dissatisfaction with their own bodies, which in turn has a impact on their mental health.

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