The Internet is a place where people can learn all kinds of different things and entertain themselves with various content. There is simply a lot of information and useful data online. It makes sense for everyone to have access to the Internet. It can be beneficial for adults, teenagers, and even children. Unfortunately, there are some disadvantages to being online, especially for teenagers and children. A lot of those disadvantages can be experienced on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and most importantly, Instagram. This is why it is essential to keep your children safe on the Internet.
However, keeping your kids safe from the Internet is not easy. Obviously, the most effective method would be to just block their access to the online world, but that is not exactly the smartest thing you can do. If you do that, your children will be very mad at you and they will lose a lot of benefits such as access to their school program, books, and textbooks. They will even lose the communication they have with their friends. Today, most kids do not use regular SMS or calls.
If you do not want to take that route (blocking their access to the Internet), fortunately for you, there are several things you can do to keep your teen safe on Instagram. I hope that this article will be the guide that you need.
Is your teenager old enough?
Before I give you any kind of tips or advice, maybe you should first determine whether your teenager is old enough to use Instagram or even the Internet. Obviously, this should not apply to kids that are already used to using a phone and applications such as Instagram that come with it. There is no point in taking away their benefits for no apparent reason.
You should also keep in mind that a teenager may be too old for you to control their access to the outside/online world.
Make sure they do not use their real name
One of the first things you will need to achieve a certain level of safety for your children on Instagram, you will have to ensure that they do not use their real name for their account. It is best to do this while they are creating a new account. Although, if your teen already has an account, you can easily change the name and username to anything you want.
You should try and convince your child that this is a smart move and that not everyone online should have easy access to their real name.
Avoid sharing any kind of personal info
Another thing you must pay attention to is how much your child is sharing personal information on their Instagram account. There really is no need for them to share their birthday, their age, or anything like that.
If you have a good level of communication with your teenage child, I am sure that they will understand your needs and will avoid sharing that personal information. If not, then you will probably need to take some more strict measures.
Install a spy app
Unfortunately, teenagers can be very emotional. In fact, almost every teenager is too emotional during that time in life. They easily get mad and angry at you for no apparent reason. In these moments, you simply cannot find any kind of middle ground. So, there is a good chance that they will not let you have any kind of access to their Instagram profile.
This is why you have to resort to more protective measures such as installing a spy app on their phone. With that, you will be able to easily read every single message that comes and goes through the phone. Including messages from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even regular SMS.
These types of applications are completely hidden and are not that easy to find. Your child will probably never notice that you are reading through their messages. If you are definitely interested in such an application, you will probably need to read more on how to monitor Instagram activity. Whichever of these apps you pick, I am sure they will provide you with the features that you need.
Ask for their Instagram username and password
Now this one is a little bit riskier and more difficult to achieve. If you do not want to intrude in your child’s private life without any consent with a spy app, this is your alternative. If you do have a non-secretive relationship with your teenage child, you should be honest and ask for their Instagram username and password.
Most teenagers will not even consider this as an option. Although, you might have a more understanding kid and they might provide you with their login information. If you are unable to obtain their account, you should try being a bit stricter.
Once you obtain their account, you can easily limit what kind of content they can see, follow, and unfollow certain profiles and see who they are communicating with. If you notice any sketchy accounts, I would suggest that you unfollow and then block them.
Once you do that, you should probably advise your children not to talk with random strangers. Because random online strangers could be anyone. They could lie about their name, gender, and even age.
Make a fake account
Assuming that now this above works for you, you will probably need a non-intrusive matter to find out what your teen child is posting and who they follow. The easiest way to achieve that is to create a fake account and then follow their profile. Most kids will accept you because they want to get as many followers as possible.
Once they accept you, you will have access to all of their other followers, their posts, tagged images, and stories. This will probably be enough information to find out what your kid is doing on the Internet.
I hope that this short 2024 guide will help you keep your teenager safe on Instagram.