Just like any other social media platform, Twitter has millions of users, which should worry any parent. With technology becoming a major part of children’s lives, it is vital to know how you can keep your kids safe. This includes preventing them from viewing and posting inappropriate content. Twitter is unique compared to other types of social media. Through the latest updates, the social media app has expanded, making Twitter use increasingly more popular. However, it doesn’t have many tools that parents can use. Let’s look at what Twitter is and review some Twitter safety tips for parents.
What Is Twitter?
Twitter is a social media app that debuted in 2006, and has 50+ million active monthly users.Twitter is most notable for popularizing the “Hashtag”, created by Chris Messina. Users can easily create an account, and tweet photos, videos, links, GIFs, and polls with hashtags. The app is continuously updating daily with content regarding almost anything. You can see posts with information such as news, events, popular topics, and celebrities. However, not all of this content is suitable for kids. Even though kids only 13-years-old and above can join Twitter, it doesn’t stop those who are younger from joining. As parents, the question still remains, how are you going to protect your child from dangers on Twitter?
Threats On The App
Although Twitter does there best to make sure users’ accounts are secure, they are not fully able to stop abusive behavior on their platform. Just like other social media apps, cyberbullies exist on the platform posting hurtful posts or even directly messaging users hurtful or offensive comments. There are even celebrities who constantly deactivate their Twitter accounts due to trolls and bullies attacking them.
Anyone on the platform would post inappropriate content including photos, memes, and videos. Users also may be able to tag children in posts they shouldn’t be. What can you do as a parent to make sure your kids are not viewing this type of content on the app? Let’s look further into the security features Twitter has in place and how we can teach our kids to use Twitter properly.
Twitter Safety Tips For Parents
As parents, we always want to protect our children from anything that might be taken as hurtful or mean. Twitter has taken steps to make sure users accounts are protected, and has enabled numerous security precautions to make the app usable for all ages.
– Protect Your Tweets
You can select to have your tweets only be seen by your followers. This is crucial to make sure that people are not seeing your child’s tweets that shouldn’t be. Each follower must be manually approved by the account owner.
– Know Who Your Following
We always teach our kids to never talk to people they do not know, and this should be enforced on social media platforms. Only have your kids follow friends and family members they know. We have seen many people on social media create fake accounts and impersonate someone who they are not. Make sure your kids are aware of this and keep them protected from these profiles.
– Tweet Wisely
Our social media profiles contribute to our digital footprint and will follow us for almost our entire lives. Schools and jobs look to Twitter and other social media platforms to gain more information about you. Teach your child to not put anything out there that will potentially hurt them in the long run, and that they wouldn’t want their parents to see.
– Approach Links With Caution
We have seen hackers and scammers disguise attacks in many new and unique ways. Social media is in an easy way these criminals hide their attacks. By simply clicking on a link, anyone can be at risk, including your children. These attacks are targeting anyone, and they are looking to gain complete access accounts, devices, and personal information.
– Report or Block Accounts
You can use the security features within Twitter to block profiles or related content that is not appropriate. This tool is essential and should be used by all kids and parents to make use safer. If you come across any fake or inappropriate accounts, report or block them so they will no longer appear to you. To block an account on Twitter, you simply have to go to the user’s profile, click on the three horizontal dots, and [email protected].
– Block Sensitive Twitter Content
Just like most social media platforms, Twitter users do tweet sensitive and inappropriate content young kids and teens shouldn’t see. Through the Privacy and safety settings, you can make sure that the Display media that may contain sensitive content is not activated. Also under Search filters, you can opt to hide sensitive information and remove blocked and muted accounts. With specific tweets, you are able to block and report specific tweets and accounts on the basis of having inappropriate content or adult sexual content.
– Be Careful With Direct Messages
You can choose who is able to send you private messages and who can not by accessing your setting. By not activating the Receive messages from anyone settings, only those who follow you can message you. You can also enable the Quality Filter feature which will eliminate any type of spam or mass message notifications. This is perfect for protecting against scammers and disregarding any irrelevant messages.
– Create Your Own Account
The only way to know exactly what your child is doing on social media sites is to create an account yourself. It is a simple process to do, and you can view what they are posting as it will be displayed on your timeline. Remember, the only way to see their posts is to follow them.
Twitter is an incredible form of social media that has many uses. With the platform having millions of users, parents need to know of ways to protect their kids from threats. If you are able to teach your kids about the security and privacy features, it will make use of Twitter appropriate and safe. Now you know how you can protect your kids on Twitter using these tips.
Related Article: A Parent’s Guide To YouTube Safety