Health Department: Six Tips for Keeping Teens and Children Safe on Social Media

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City Updates | General | Health Department |

More than 60 percent of teens in the United States have at least one social media account, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. And while being online is a good way to keep in touch with friends, it’s important for parents to be proactive about Internet Safety.

Unfortunately, there are people who can use your child’s personal information to steal identities, bully them or begin an inappropriate relationship.  Help protect teens from online dangers by following these safety tips.

  1. Keep your child’s profile private so that only family and people you know can see photos, important dates and other information.
  2. Make sure your kid’s aren’t posting personal details, including phone numbers, home address, and the name of their school or Social Security number.
  3. Only allow them to publish photos and videos that don’t jeopardize their safety or their integrity.
  4. Make sure they choose a strong password that can’t be guessed and update that password every three months.
  5. Never allow your kids to accept friend requests from people they don’t know.
  6. Keep an open dialogue with your children.  Ask them to let you know if they’ve received private messages from a stranger or from someone at school who is teasing, harassing or threatening them.  Those could be signs of cyber-bullying or even a sexual predator.