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4 Rules for Protecting Your Kids on Instagram

I had an interesting conversation with a co-worker the other day regarding Instagram and my co-worker’s teenage daughter. This is something that happens a lot, seeing as I manage the online social communities for a major brand. She had a bit of an interesting situation as single Mom at odds with he Ex-Husband regarding online safety. In other words, she said no, her husband said yes, and she lost out to the more preferential answer.

Instagram more and more has become the platform that many parents use as the first step into the social world with their kids. Which makes a certain amount of sense, the security setting are pretty straightforward, either you’re account is private or not. There is definitely a conversation that needs to happen though between you and your kids. Personally when my kids are old enough (and that number will be dependent on their maturity level)…

I will have four rules:

1. I always have your password.

2. I approve who your friends are.

3. Your account will be set to private.

4. If you fail to follow rule one, two, or three, you lose the privilege.

Screen shot from Instagram's web interface. Notice I'm not logged in.

Screen shot from Instagram’s web interface. Notice I’m not logged in.

Now in the case of my co-worker, the account was approved by her ex-husband who did not establish the rule, and she was having a hard battle to get any of my rules implemented. At which point I advised her to tell her daughter that at the very least, she needs to set her account to private. The thing about an open (non-private) Instagram account, is that you are one screen shot away from being some deviant’s screen saver. Anyone can find your pictures, and with the advent of Instagram’s web interface, it’s even easier for someone to steal your photos and use them inappropriately. Making your account private locks down the account so that only those you allow can see your photos. Adding at least some level of protection.

The bottom line though, is that on any social platform, the key to your children’s safety is communication. Our kids need to understand the gravity of posting something online. Once it’s there, it’s always there. And if you don’t want that silly picture of you out there, don’t post it.

What are your rules for your kids online?  I’d love to hear them.

Adam is a father of two crazy boys that keep him on his toes, strike that, running constantly.  He also happens to be an extreme extrovert and thrives when surrounded by people he enjoys.  You can trust him, he’s Canadian…Adam loves his family, his friends, baseball (especially during the playoffs), cars, and tech. Adam thinks he’s pretty funny and hopes you agree. If you don’t, he respectfully requests that you just smile and nod, he won’t notice.  You can find also find Adam at OC Family where he “helps dads be better dads” and on Twitter @adam_thedad.
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