Establish your own account on the sites they use and learn about the privacy settings. Don't be intimidated by new technologies – understanding how these sites work may help you feel more comfortable with your kids exploring these spaces.
It is useful to consider whether you are comfortable with the content and the potential for contact with others including teens and adults on each site. Consider whether your child is socially ready to manage contacts and look out for the age ratings set by app stores to help identify age suitable content.
Make sure your child knows what information they can share or post and encourage them to tell you before they join new networks and before they post any personal information, including their full name, address or school.
Ensure they don’t put too much personal information online. Help them create user names or IDs that do not communicate gender, age, name or location and are not sexually provocative.
Ensure your child’s account is set to the strongest privacy setting so only their circle of friends can view their information, tag them in a photograph or share posts. Many sites have privacy protection information and safety tips.
Encourage your kids to think before they put anything online, even among trusted friends and remind them that once shared, information and photos can be difficult or impossible to remove and may have a long-term impact on their digital reputation.
Advise your child to stay respectful and be nice online and to avoid responding to any negative messages and report any they receive to you or another trusted adult.
Have open conversations and reassure them. Let them know that you will not deny them access to the internet if they report feeling uncomfortable or unsafe when online – this is a very real concern for children that may stop them from communicating with you openly.