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Social Media Privacy Tips for Teens

April 21, 2014

By Jessica Vician

Older teens (14-17) are more likely to connect with people they have never met. 64% of teens who use Twitter have public accounts. 82% of teens post their birth date. 71% post the name of the city or twon where they live. 71% of teens post their school name.

Social media continues to infiltrate our lives and there are constantly new, popular platforms for teens to use. It’s okay for your teen to be on social media, but you need to make sure he or she is engaging in appropriate behavior and protecting his or her privacy to the general public. Today I’m going to take you through privacy settings for the big three platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

It’s important to establish a policy for your teen on social media. There are two key things you can have your teen do with his or her social media accounts to both protect his or her privacy and ensure you’re seeing every one of your teen’s posts.

Make the account private.

Your teen’s Twitter and Instagram accounts can easily be made private. If the account is private, people will need to send your teen a request to have access to his or her posts or photos and the general public cannot see anything your teen shares.

On Twitter, click the settings icon and select “settings” in the drop-down menu. Then on the left side of the page, click “security and privacy.” Under the “privacy” section, select “protect my tweets.”

On Instagram, click the icon on the far right of the menu bar at the bottom of the app. Then click the “edit your profile” button near the top of the page. Scroll to the bottom of that page and select “posts are private.”

On Facebook, there are certain things you cannot make private, like your profile and cover photo. Make sure your teen selects respectful and appropriate photos for these features. From there, follow these directions with your teen to make the rest of his or her page private to the general public:

  • Once logged in, click the lock icon in the upper right corner of the page.
  • The lock icon will yield a drop-down menu. Click “see more settings.”
  • In this section, you can edit any of the settings to determine who can see posts or pictures your teen posts or is tagged in. You can also edit who can contact your teen through Facebook and who can search for his or her page. Go through each section together to determine who can see what on the page.

Ensure you have access to all posts.

Follow your teen on Twitter and Instagram so that you can see everything he or she posts. Friend your teen on Facebook and set frequent meetings with him or her to review the privacy settings on your teen’s page, making sure that you always have access to see each post.

By taking some time to go through the privacy settings on your teen’s social media platforms, you can ensure that he or she is both protected from the outside world and acting appropriately with friends.


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