What are the risks?
While using social media, children and teens may have to deal with:
- Inappropriate content. Most social media sites have rules about what's OK to post, but there may still be sexual, violent, illegal or other types content you don't want children to see.
- Cyberbullying. Some children and teens may make cruel comments to or about their peers on social media. Social media sites where people can post anonymously make cyberbullying especially easy.
- Identity thieves. Children and teens may share personal information, leaving them open to identity theft, scams or hacking.
- Sexting. Some teens and children may share nude or partially nude images through social media apps and face academic, social, or even legal consequences.
What about "online predators"? This is a big fear for many adults. Although it doesn't happen very often, some teens do receive unwanted sexual requests, also called online sexual solicitations.
Don't worry, there's good news!
Most children use social media appropriately, for example, to stay in touch with friends or explore their interests. They’re not all cyberbullying, sexting or posting personal information. However, it’s still important for you to be familiar with these risks so you know what to do if your children come to you with a problem.