Ensure a Safe Experience for Your Kids on Social Media

Above the fold: Go above and beyond the average social media parental control features with Safes. It is an all-around parental control app that protects your kids from the negative impacts of social media. With Safes, you can ensure your kids’ entire digital presence on all devices remains safe, fun, and productive from a single panel.

Social media are amazing. They help kids express themselves, meet new people, learn new things, and participate in online communities. However, despite all their great benefits, they can expose children to various harms and risks like cyberbullying, age-inappropriate content, digital addiction, sleep disorders, and more.  

To limit these harmful effects, social media platforms come with parental control features. In this article, we go over the benefits and limitations of built-in social media parental controls, and how to set them up on major platforms like Instagram.

Built-in Social Media Parental Controls: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Let’s go over the many sides of social media’s parental control features.

The Good:

Built-in social media parental controls can help you immensely as a first step. They’re designed mainly to protect children from inappropriate content like mature content, violence, and hate speech. Also, on some platforms they prevent kids from communicating with strangers online.

The Bad: 

Built-in parental controls on some social media platforms don’t allow for parental monitoring which means that you can’t access your kid’s search history, usage time, and other important data. This keeps you from getting the information you need to make informed decisions to set boundaries for your kids.  

Additionally, the parental controls these platforms offer don’t work when kids exit the app or switch to other ones. That means you need to set up parental controls individually for each platform your kids use.

The Ugly:  

Built-in social media parental controls are designed to serve the platform’s bottom line: keeping people engaged. So, you need to know these features can protect your kids from in-appropriate content, but don’t keep them from using social media excessively.  

Excessive use of social media in children can lead to a declined performance in school and mental health issues like anxiety, depression, loneliness, self-harm, and suicidal tendencies.

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive layer of digital safety for your children, you should consider third-party parental control apps like Safes.

Safes: All-around Parental Control Solution for Social Media

• Protect from Harmful Content 

Safes protects your child from inappropriate and harmful content to ensure their mental wellbeing.

• Form Healthy Digital Habits 

Safes helps prevent harmful routines — i.e., video game addiction and unhealthy sleep patterns — and form positive digital habits.

• Keep Track of When & Where 

Safes tells you where your child is and what they are doing with their device in real time.

• Pave the Way for Growth 

Safes creates a safe and distraction-free space for your child to expand their mind and broaden their horizon.

• Create Customized Safety Plans 

Your child is unique. Our flexible solution helps you create a customized digital safety plan that fits your kid’s unique needs

All Set for Your Kids’ Digital Wellbeing

Safes offers everything you need to make social media a healthy and pleasant space for your kids

• Multi-platform Monitoring  

With Safes, you can remotely monitor and control a diverse array of devices and operating systems from a single panel.|

• Detailed Activity Reports  

Learn all about your kids’ digital behavior within seconds. Safes activity reports covers several bases, including screen time, app and social media usage, and blocked content requests.
 

• Screen Time Management 

Block or limit social media usage to protect your kids from sleep disorders, excessive and harmful screen time, and distractions.

• Content Filtering  

Block out inappropriate web content like violence, hate speech, and pornography.

• Science-based Profiles  

Safes simplifies your monitoring process by suggesting profiles that apply psychologist-recommended rules and limits based on your child’s age. 

• Uninstall Protection 

Don’t worry about your kid bypassing your rules. Safes uninstall protection ensures only you can remove the app from your child’s device. 

Note: In addition, Safes offers other advanced benefits like location tracking, geofencing, safe search, and customized notifications.

Redefine protection on social media platforms with Safes

How to Set Up Parental Controls on Social Media Platforms

Now that we know what built-in social media parental controls do and their limitations, let’s see how you can set them up on each platform. 

Instagram 

Instagram is one the most popular social media platforms in the world with nearly 1.44 billion active users, 8.5 percent of whom are teens ages 13-17. In an effort to make Instagram safer for this age group, the platform offers parental Supervision. Let’s see what it does and how you can set it up. 

Instagram parental supervision allows you to: 

  • Set time limits and schedule breaks 
  • See how much time your teen spends on Instagram across all devices 
  • See who follows your teen and who your teen follows 
  • And review who your teen has blocked.

How to Set Up Parental Controls on Instagram 

Remember to have a dialogue to your teen about why setting up Supervision is necessary and what you can do with it.  

You can activate Instagram Supervision using both your smartphone app and your web app. 

  1. If you’re setting up Supervision on your desktop device: 
  2. Click on your profile picture in the top right, then click Settings. 
  3. Click Supervision, and then Family Center. 
  4. Click Create Invite. 
  5. Review the information on screen, then click Create invite. 
  6. Select the app you want to use to send the invite and send the link to your teen.  
  7. Ask your teen to accept your invite by clicking the link and confirming. 
     

If you want to activate Supervision using your phone, proceed as follows: 

  1. Tap on your profile icon in the bottom left. 
  2. On your profile page, tap on the hamburger menu in the top right and select Settings. 
  3. Tap Supervision. 
  4. Tap Create Invitation. 
  5. Read the information and tap Create Invitation. 
  6. Send the invite link by choosing your preferred messenger app. 
  7. Ask your teen to tap the link and confirm.

In addition to Supervision, you can use other privacy customizations that further protect your kid’s privacy and safety on this platform. These customizations include: 

  • Making your teens account private 
  • Reporting inappropriate posts or profiles 
  • Blocking users 
  • Limiting users 
  • Unfollowing profiles 
  • Managing and filtering comments 
  • Hiding likes and views 
  • Managing mentions 
  • Story settings 
  • Managing notifications 
  • Close friends settings 
TikTok 

TikTok is a video-based platform for people to creatively express themselves with entertaining videos and challenges. Over 27 percent of TikTok users are teens between 13 and 17 years old. TikTok also offers parental control features to make these platforms safer for this demographic.  

TikTok’s main parental control feature is called Family Pairing. It helps you protect your teen’s privacy and wellbeing through the following features: 

  • Making their account private 
  • Managing comments 
  • Managing direct messages 
  • Limiting inappropriate searches 
  • Managing screen time 
  • And restricting inappropriate content 

How to Set Up Parental Controls on TikTok 

To set up Family Pairing, you first need to create a TikTok account for yourself.  Then, take the following steps on your own device as well as your teen’s: 

  1. In the TikTok app, tap on the Profile button at the bottom right corner. 
  2. Tap the Menu button at the top. 
  3. Tap Settings and privacy. 
  4. Scroll down and then tap Family Pairing. 
  5. Tap Parent or Teen. 
  6. Follow the steps in the app to link accounts. 
YouTube 

From cartoons to educational videos, there’s an endless supply of kid-friendly content on YouTube. But there are also tons of videos your kids shouldn’t be watching.  

So it’s important to know how to make YouTube a safe space for your kids. You can go about it in two ways: 

1. On a web browser, activate Restricted Mode to limit your kid’s access to inappropriate content. 

2. Install YouTube Kids app to only allow pre-approved content or block specific videos. 

How to Enable Restricted Mode on YouTube 

  1. Go to youtube.com and sign in using your Google account. 
  2. Click your profile picture in the top right corner. 
  3. On the menu that appears, select Restricted Mode (it’s toggled off by default). 
  4. In the next pop-up menu, toggle on Activate Restricted Mode. 
  5. Once the page refreshes, go to the Restricted Mode menu again. There, click Lock Restricted Mode on This Browser at the bottom of the menu. 
  6. Log out of your account so other people can’t turn off the restricted mode on this browser.

Note: The restricted mode settings only apply to the browser you activate it on. For instance, if you activate restricted mode on Chrome, your child will still have full YouTube access on Safari or Firefox. So make sure you repeat the process on other browsers as well.

How to Install YouTube Kids 

You can download and install YouTube kids on your phone the same way you install other apps. 

This is a better way to create a safe YouTube experience for your kids. Some of the parental control features YouTube Kids offers include: 

  • Limit access to certain videos 
  • Only allow pre-approved videos 
  • Limit screen time
Facebook  

Although Facebook is the most popular social media with 2.934 billion active monthly users, it’s not as popular among teenagers. Teens ages 13-17 make up only around 5 percent of Facebook’s audience. However, if your kid is on Facebook, you still need protect them from possible risks on this platform. 

Compared to some other major social media platforms, Facebook offers very limited parental controls; but they are still worth using.  

Here are what Facebook parental controls help you with: 

  • Restrict Facebook chatting 
  • Filter out inappropriate content 
  • Limit social interactions 
  • Protect private data 

How to Set Up Parental Controls on Facebook 

  1. To enable parental controls on Facebook, you first need to access your teen’s profile. 
  2. Tap on the three-line icon on the top right corner. 
  3. Scroll down and tap Settings & Privacy. 
  4. Tap Privacy Checkup. 


In this section, you can:
 

  • Change who sees your kid’s past and future posts and new stories. 
  • Block people when you don’t want any interaction between them and your kid. 
  • Control who can send friend’s request to your kid to limit unwanted interaction. 
  • Restrict access to your kid’s private information like birth date and phone number.
Snapchat 

Snapchat is a social media platform where users can post pictures and videos, or “snaps,” that vanish after a set amount of time chosen by the user. Snapchat hosts over 464 million monthly users, 20.5 percent of whom are aged 13-17 years old. 

Despite its massive share of teenage audience and loose personal information policies, Snapchat technically doesn’t offer built-in parental control features.  

However, there are some settings that parents can use to make this platform safer for their children. 

  1. How to Set Up Parental Controls on Snapchat 

To make Snapchat safer for your child, you need to access your child’s profile. Once there, proceed as follows. 

Manage who can contact your child 

  1. Open the profile page 
  2. Tap on the gear icon 
  3. Tap Contact Me under the Who Can section 
  4. Change the settings to My Friends


Manage who can view your kid’s stories
 

  1. In the Who Can menu, tap on the View My Story 
  2. Check the My Friends option or customize it further by tapping the Custom option 


Prevent Location Sharing
 

  1. In Who Can menu, tap on See My Location 
  2. On the next page that opens, check Ghost Mode


Uncheck “Show Me in Quick Add”
 

  1. In the Who Can section, tap on See Me in Quick Add  
  2. On the next page that opens, uncheck Show me in Quick Add

Frequently Asked Questions

Have any questions? We’re here to help!

Yes. Social Media are addictive in nature, and also full of harmful, inappropriate content, and dangerous people. Therefore, children’s access to them should be supervised by parents.

Parents can supervise and limit their children’s use of social media using parental control apps like Safes, and features built into the social media platforms.

Yes. You can activate parental controls on YouTube TV using your Google account and turning on your browser’s restricted mode.

Yes, as long as they remain on YouTube Kids, your child will be watching age-appropriate and pre-approved content. However, some level of supervision is still needed as inappropriate content can always fall through the cracks.

TikTok doesn’t offer an exclusive child-appropriate platform like YouTube does. However, you can make TikTok safer for your child by turning on Restricted Mode. Still, your child shouldn’t be on TikTok if they haven’t reached 13.

As long as your child is 13 years old and above, and you have activated TikTok’s Restricted Mode, your child can use TikTok. However, they still need to be supervised in terms of how much time they spend on TikTok and what content they are exposed to.

You can. But to protect your child’s privacy, make sure that your account is not public and strangers don’t have access to your child’s pictures.