Whenever you see a kid or teen taking selfies, alone or with a group of friends, rest assured they will be uploaded to Instagram. Kids and teens love this app because all their friends are there. One can keep up with the lives of the celebrities, meet new people, and most importantly, present oneself to their friends and strangers the way they want. Instagram is currently the most popular social media app with over a billion monthly active users. In October 2021, 8% of Instagram users were between 13 and 17 years old. So it’s important to consider: is Instagram safe for kids?
What parents need to know about Instagram:
First, parents need to know that Instagram, like all, is designed to be addictive. The aim is to attract as many people as possible and keep them as long as possible. However, screen time isn’t the only issue parents should be concerned with. On Instagram, anyone with an account can share and view pictures, videos, and send direct messages to each other. This means that children can meet and interact with people on this platform.
Why Instagram is a Dangerous Playground:
- Cyberbullying : Unfortunately, Instagram has the highest internet cyberbullying rate. According to a PEW survey, 59% of teens on Instagram are being bullied online. Cyberbullying on Instagram can include harassment, shopping scams, identity theft, body shaming, stalking, and racism.
- Emotional Impact : Instagram can be harmful to children’s mental health, particularly teenage children, as it encourages certain body images and styles, and the comparison can damage a child’s self-esteem and make them anxious and depressed as they feel the pressure to be in whatever concept Instagrammers have to fit and influencers opt for the trend.
- Privacy Issues : Like similar apps and websites, Instagram collects information about users; Teenagers also tend to share too much, recording their daily routine and posting it on Instagram. Predators, stalkers and phishing scammers can take advantage of them.
How to Secure Instagram for Kids All of the above risks make it necessary to think about ways to keep your kids‘ activities under control. Here are some suggestions from the Safes team:
- Private Account : Make sure your child’s Instagram account is private and their followers are everyone you know and agree with.
- Turn off location : Tagging location on each post makes it easy for predators and stalkers to find the kid’s location. Ask your child never to tag their location in their posts or stories.
- Monitor : Safes allows you to monitor who your child follows and what pages they visit.
- Block Content : Safes Family notifies you when your child searches for or encounters previously defined topics and content that you deem inappropriate.
- Limit the time spent on Instagram : Safes also allows you to set a limited amount of time your child can spend on Instagram. When the set time is up, the app becomes inactive.