How Do I Protect My Child on Instagram?

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Following the publicity this week with the announcement that Instagram were no longer going to allow images of self-harm on their site, many parents have been asking "how can I best protect my child on Instagram?"

In between putting food on the table and working to pay the rent, a lot of parents have been caught unawares that their "net native" children have access to a technology platform which allows them to upload and view any photos or videos online and converse privately with any other Instagram subscriber, anywhere in the world.

Many parents are unaware that children under 13 are not allowed to use Instagram without their parents' consent. 

However the penny is now dropping that this really needs some kind of parental control and oversight.

But where to start?

So at DAD.info we have put together a short guide to show how you can put at least some measures in place to protect your child.

 

Setting Their account to Private

All profiles are public by default. You will need to gain access to your child's account. It will open up at the Main Page:
Select "Edit Profile"
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Select "Privacy and Security"
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This will open up the following "Privacy and Security" screen:
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Tick the box called "Private Account". Now only approved followers can see or comment on their photos or comments. 

 

Filter Out Offensive Comments

Stay on the "Privacy and Security Page" and navigate down the page until you come to a section named "Comments". Select "Edit Comment Settings"..
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...this will open up the following screen, where you can add in words that you want filtered out from your child's Instagram feed.
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As well as the obvious four-letter words, it's a good idea to take a look at "text speak" terms you might want to be excluded from your child's account. These include:
MIRL - Meet In Real Life
KYS - Kill Yourself
KMS - Kill Myself
NIFOC - Nude In Front Of the Computer
....I wont do an extensive list because it changes all the time; if in doubt, google reputable resources. For example, police forces often publish "latest lists" of online text talk, to help parents keep up.

Remove or Block Followers

If your child has been on Instagram for a while without any parental controls, it is likely he or she has picked up some undesirable followers. You can remove or block followers from the main page. In the example account I used for this article I don't have any followers. However all you have to do is click on the number of followers (see below) and you will be able to block or unfollow from there. The people you block will not be alerted to the blocking; they will simply no longer see feeds from your child's account. 
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Opting Out of "Similar Account Suggestions"

When someone asks to follow someone who is a friend and follower of your child, Instagram also offers suggestions of similar people for them to also follow. Since other parents may not be as careful as you about the online activities of their children, you should deactivate this feature. Simply go back to the Profile page and page down:

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...until you come to a field titled "Similar Account Suggestions". Untick this option!

 

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This is an easy start for parents who are a bit daunted by putting parental controls in place. We really hope this helps, so please drop us a line at our facebook page and let us know if you want to have more guidelines like this.

 

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Guest Friday, 26 April 2019

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