Using social networks correctly is not always easy, especially for children and young people. Information is given too carelessly or pages with questionable content are used. Parents can pay attention to a few things and thus influence their children’s usage behavior on the Internet.
Safe use of social networks
Find out about your child’s activities on the Internet and try to talk to the children. The easiest way to get an insight into the functions of a social network is to create your own user account in the network. Get an idea of the privacy settings of the respective network operator and check whether users have control over their own data. Point out to your child that any behavior on social media can lead to consequences in real life.
Spending time on social networks
Access to social networks is now easier than ever thanks to smartphones and tablets. If you want to know how much time your child spends with these offers and programs, check the daily routine and try to talk to them. Since a large part of social life takes place in the digital world today, children and young people must be made aware of how to use social media. Prohibitions should be avoided, as this can affect your child’s social contacts.
Build media skills in a targeted manner
It is important that you are familiar with the medium of the Internet and, in particular, with how social networks and chat programs work. You can then talk about the various online activities with your children. Opportunities and risks can be discussed and there is an early and regular clarification.
Information in social networks
Personal information such as telephone number, address and place of residence or e-mail address should be avoided as far as possible. In any case, the settings (privacy) in social networks must always be selected in such a way that private information is not publicly visible. The basic rule remains that personal information should only be shared with people you know well and who you trust.
Use of Data and Information
According to current law, social networks are not allowed to pass on any data to third parties without having obtained the user’s explicit consent or being required to do so by an official order. You can find out which principle the respective companies follow from the respective data protection regulations and general terms and conditions (GTC). Content such as photos, videos or texts that users distribute in social networks usually remain the property of the respective user and may only be displayed by the company in the profile of the respective owner, but not used elsewhere. The companies are obliged to delete the data and information after termination of membership.
Bullying and harassment on social networks
Only the beginning of criminal acts against children and young people should be observed and documented from the beginning. Messages or public posts with such content can be printed out or saved as screenshots (screen copy). When bullying occurs on social networks, it is almost always a violation of the operator’s rules. In such a case, contact the operator as soon as possible and call the police if necessary. Since the Internet is extremely fast-moving, you should not hesitate but act immediately.
Ever since social networks have existed, various initiatives, clubs and associations have been dealing with the dangers of these offers. Get these experts involved if your child is having trouble on social media. However, always contact the operator of the respective offer beforehand and allow a reasonable response time. If you have further questions, we recommend.