Some written guidelines about social media can help your child get the benefits of social media while using it responsibly, respectfully and safely. This agreement could be part of a family media plan. If these guidelines include your social media use as well as your child’s, you can be a positive role model.
Here are some things your guidelines could include.
Using social media
This might cover basics like:
- when it’s OK to use social media and how long your child can spend on social media
- whether it’s OK to use social media during homework time, family meals and so on
- where it’s OK to use social media – for example, only in family areas of the house, not bedrooms.
Posting content and comments
It’s important for your child to agree to:
- not uploading or sharing inappropriate messages, images and video
- showing respect in posts and when sharing content – for example, if it’s not OK to say or do something face to face, it’s not OK online
- seeking consent before posting images of others.
It’s a good idea to go through social media privacy guidelines and settings with your child.
Your child can protect their privacy by agreeing to:
- not share personal information like phone numbers, location and date of birth with strangers online, or with people they don’t know personally
- not add personal details like phone numbers or date of birth to private profiles
- regularly check privacy and location settings, especially on mobile phones
- keep passwords and log-in details private and not share these with friends
- log out after using public computers
- disable features like posting to multiple social media sites at once.
Staying safe on social media
Safety essentials for your child include:
- blocking and reporting people they don’t know or people who post upsetting comments or content
- not clicking on pop-ups – some pop-ups that seem safe can lead to pornography sites or ask for personal or financial information
- accepting friend requests only from people whose identity they know
- taking screenshots of concerning things they see online, and talking to a trusted adult about them.