5 Tips to Keep Your Child Safe on Instagram

Young people today love using social media to share pictures, post updates and keep in touch with their friends. But for parents, this can raise concerns over safety. Often, it’s difficult to tell when sharing strays into over-sharing or if they’re letting the internet know a little too much about their personal lives.

Along with Facebook and Twitter, Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms and is built entirely around sharing pictures. The trap is that as users build up their following their pictures and content can get more and more likes. These likes indicate the popularity of a post and ultimately the user. Therefore, in the pursuit of like, some can find it difficult to differentiate between what is appropriate and safe to share and what is not. Unless your child has updated their privacy settings, they could have followers who they do not know which could be unsafe.

Help keep your child safe by following these five tips:

Remove their unknown followers

The first step to take is to remove any followers who they do not know. Much like Twitter, Instagram can allow users to follow one another without having to ask. If your child has not set up their privacy settings, technically anyone could stumble across their profile and pictures.

To remove a follower, simply go onto your child’s follower list and tap ‘Remove’ next to the user. You can then block them by tapping on their username and accessing their profile. In the top right-hand corner, you’ll find three dots, once you’ve clicked on these, you can select ‘Block’.

Activate “Private Account”

Once you’ve removed their unknown followers, you might want to think about activating Instagram’s private account safety settings. This would restrict your child’s account being visible by those who do not follow them. And it allows your child to accept / decline any follow requests. Having this activated will cut down on the number of unknown followers they have.

Ensure that the Instagram Map function is off

Like Twitter and Facebook, Instagram allows users to geotag their posts. This means that followers can see where a picture has been taken and posted. To keep your child safe, you should ask them to remove any geo-tagged locations.

Prevent future location sharing

Once they’ve removed all their geo-tags, you may wish to block the option to do it all together. To do this, you will need to disable location services on your child’s phone. For iOS devices, head to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Instagram and then tap ‘Never’ under “Allow Location Access”. For Android-based phones, check the Instagram help site for information on disabling geotags.

Finally… Make sure they refrain from posting personal information on the platform!

Instagram allows users to list personal information such as their real name and phone number. Make sure they don’t have anything in their profile that would allow someone to contact them directly or learn their whereabouts.

Hopefully these tips will help you to keep your child safe when they are using Instagram. If you have any other questions or would like other safety tips, please comment below.