Apart from the convenience of being able to reach friends here and abroad through social media services, schools are becoming involved in sharing accomplishments as well. Add to that the presence of celebrities on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms, there are a whole lot of reasons to hop aboard the social train. While some Parents themselves have accounts, it becomes a concern if their children have decided to make one or more accounts, considering people often share explicit content that your children can stumble into.

First things first

Social media is almost exactly as wonderful as it is terrible, and it becomes a huge oddity if you’re not an active user yourself. What all parents need to know, however, is that there is no such thing as deleting something on the internet. The internet isn’t a chalkboard that you can write on and erase at your leisure. Once something is out there on the internet, it will more or less be there forever.

Some tools are also capable of bringing back information that’s been taken down such as the Wayback Machine. The idea is that once anything is put in an electronic form, it is easy for someone else to copy the information elsewhere so it is a hopeless task by people attempting to remove information from the internet.

Location tracking and sharing

A disturbing fact is that wherever you go, your social media apps know where you are. Not only does your status information tell somebody where you currently are, it also tells them where you aren’t. This information can be just as dangerous in the hands of criminals.

Parents need to be knowledgeable about the service’s privacy features.

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All services have privacy controls. Definitely get to know them and use these features to be sure that you have complete control over who can find out your family's location.

Get involved

Parents would also be well served by spending some time on the same social networks their children are using just to get a sense of how they work and what impact they might be having on their children.

Before allowing access to social media sites, have a discussion with your child about what is expected of their behavior online and inform them that it is not safe to share everything with everyone online. It is important to set clear rules on what content is allowed and what type of behavior is considered unwanted on social sites. Together, you're both better informed and better able to make the best choices for staying safe and having fun.