Instagram is a popular hangout for teens, where they can share their favorite photos and videos. It’s all about selfies, memes, and whatever else floats their boat, with the added perk of receiving comments from friends. While it’s a great way for them to stay connected, there’s also a darker side to consider – cyberbullying and inappropriate content. So, the big question is Instagram really a safe space for kids?

Curious about your kids’ followers?

Let’s start by figuring out who your kids are following. Nowadays, the online world is teeming with viral YouTubers, Instagrammers, and Snapchatters. Unfortunately, not all of them create content that’s suitable for a younger audience. Despite Instagram’s safety measures and community guidelines, some folks manage to slip through the cracks by slapping a “sticker” on explicit photos. Take a peek at your kid’s following list and have a chat with them about who’s worth keeping around and who might be better off unfollowed.

How Secure is Instagram?

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Instagram comes equipped with in-app controls, such as the option to compile a list of restricted words. This curated list ensures that posts featuring those words in the comments won’t pop up on your kid’s feed, and it also prevents them from using those words themselves. To boost your child’s online safety, consider collaboratively creating a list of prohibited words for Instagram. These restricted terms can also find a place in your family’s tech agreement, fostering open and honest conversations about technology usage. Crafting this list together not only promotes responsible digital citizenship but can also spark valuable discussions about navigating the online world. Need help with setting up parental controls on Instagram? Check out our user-friendly guide.

To enhance online safety for teens, it’s crucial to have open and ongoing conversations about digital behavior. Here’s a rewritten version of the content with all SEO considerations in mind:

Online safety challenges can arise when teens learn to use social media apps like Instagram. As their frontal lobe, responsible for impulse control and decision-making, is not fully developed until their early 20s, teens may struggle to understand the permanent and future consequences of their actions. This can lead to issues like cyberbullying and viewing inappropriate content. It’s important to have multiple conversations with your teen about online safety and go over the safety features of each app they use. Online predators are rampant on social media, so it’s crucial to be vigilant.

Instagram has made efforts to address the issue of cyberbullying and harassment. One feature, called “nudging”. encourages users to be respectful by reminding them of their comment when it contains harmful or abusive language. Since rolling out this feature, Instagram claims to have seen a 50% decrease in people changing or deleting their comments after viewing the nudge. However, not everyone will change their words based on the nudge, so it’s important to be aware of potential risks.

Instagram has also introduced parental controls to better protect younger users. Unfortunately, these controls are easy for kids to work around. One safety feature requires users to confirm they’re at least 13 by entering their birth date. However, it’s not hard for underage kids to enter an age that’s older than they really are. The second feature enables users to turn off direct messages from people they don’t know, but it’s easy for kids to turn it back on once their parents leave the room.

The most recent addition to Instagram’s parental controls is the “supervision” feature. This allows parents to connect their Instagram account to their child’s, giving them access to monitor their kid’s account activity. Some things parents can do with this feature are set daily time limits for the app, see how long their kid spends on the app, and see when their child reports a post/account. These are great parental controls, but the same problem remains — kids can turn this off at any point they decide to. Without a lock or pin code feature, it’s essentially based on your kid’s willingness to be supervised.

Exploring Instagram Stories

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Instagram has introduced a cool feature known as “stories,” taking a page from Snapchat’s book, allowing users to share photos and videos that vanish after viewing. This feature is tucked away in the Direct Message section.

Feel like sharing a disappearing photo or video? You can do it either as a group or an individual message. Once the recipient opens your disappearing content, it’s gone from their inbox unless you’ve given the green light for a replay.

To catch up on your Instagram Direct messages, simply tap the paper airplane icon in the top right of your feed. There, you can effortlessly manage your messages – both sent and received. It’s all about keeping your Instagram communication swift and snappy!

Discover Messenger Rooms: A Fun Video Chat Experience

Wondering about Messenger Rooms on Instagram and Facebook Messenger? It’s a cool feature that lets you video chat with up to 50 pals! To get the party started, you’ll need both an Instagram and a Facebook account. What’s great is that your friends can join the call, even if they’re on Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, or no account at all! Unlike formal work-oriented platforms like Zoom and Google Teams, Messenger Rooms aims to add a touch of whimsy to your socializing experience. Dive into interactive filters, virtual party games, and custom 360-degree backgrounds while catching up with your crew.

Potential Pitfalls

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Every fun feature has its challenges, and Messenger Rooms is no exception. Unwanted guests and inappropriate content can be concerns. Thankfully, the room-creator is in control here, with the power to make the room private, block users, and remove guests. Worried about unexpected visitors crashing your child’s chat? Simply lock the room once their pals have arrived to keep strangers at bay.

Live Rooms Unveiled

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Live broadcasting has become a hit for various events, from religious services to cooking classes. Messenger Live Rooms now allows up to four live users at once, offering a more formal presentation style. While it may be less common among kids seeking a casual hangout, it’s essential to understand all the app’s functionalities.

Guarding Your Child’s Online Space

Setting up a Supervised Account

  1. Tap your profile icon at the bottom right.
  2. Tap the three lines in the top right.
  3. Access Settings.
  4. Tap Supervision.
  5. Create Invite.
  6. Send it to your child; they have 48 hours to respond.
  7. Once accepted, follow on-screen instructions in the Family Center (via Settings>Supervision) to manage your child’s Instagram Settings.

Making the Account Private

  1. Open Instagram.
  2. Tap your child’s profile picture.
  3. Tap “…” at the top right.
  4. Navigate to Settings.
  5. Scroll down to Account Privacy.
  6. Enable Private Account.

Blocking Unwanted Accounts

  1. Tap the user’s username or profile photo.
  2. Tap “…” in the top right.
  3. Hit Block.

Reporting Inappropriate Content

  1. Tap “…” on the user profile or post.
  2. For comments, swipe left, and tap the exclamation mark.
  3. If it’s a message, tap and hold, then tap Report.

Managing Comments on Posts

  1. Tap “…” above your post.
  2. Choose Turn Off Commenting or Turn On Commenting.
  3. You can also manage this before sharing a post in Advanced Settings.

Optimize your child’s online experience by incorporating these easy-to-follow safety measures!