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Online Safety
Mar 12, 2020
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Kids’ Safety On Instagram: What Parents Need To Know

Instagram is fun and kids love using it and sharing memories with friends. But how parents can protect them from inappropriate content and ensure kids’ safety on Instagram? Read about here to learn how.

How To Keep Kids Safe On Instagram

Social networks have become a useful means of communication between modern people. It is fun to use them, we can find new friends and chat with them even if they live on the other side of the world. But there is a problem – how to filter information received by kids?

Instagram is one of the most popular social networks these days and children love it too. Even though Instagram has some filters and users can’t post everything they want, some information has to be restricted. And parents can use Instagram parental controls to limit the information kids see. 

What do parents need to know about Instagram?

Some might say that the easiest way to protect kids from inappropriate content on Instagram is to forbid its usage, but is that true? Of course, it’s not. The kid will consider it an unfair punishment and the trust between parent and kid will be ruined. Besides, kids can find other ways to use Instagram secretly and you won’t even know that your child might be in danger. 

So the best way is to let the kid use Instagram but under your control. That way you won’t lose the trust of your child and you will have a good chance to prevent something bad from happening by controlling the usage of Instagram by your kid. But how to do that? 

How do I block inappropriate content on Instagram?

Instagram offers Instagram parental controls with the aid of which parents can limit what their children see on Instagram. You can make sure that your kid won’t see inappropriate comments (such as swear words, or words from the frequently reported words list), but you can do a lot more than that. You can hide the location of your kid, allow only friends of your child to see the posts and photos, report abusive users, and even unfollow some users.

The first way you can block inappropriate content on Instagram is to unfollow the user who posts it. This is how you should do it:

  • Find the “Followers” button in the account of your child.
  • Find the person who your child is following. You will see the “following” sign.
  • Tap on the “following” button which will immediately change to “Follow” (blue color). That means that your kid is no longer following this user and can’t see what he posts.
instagram safety

If you think that someone is too abusive on Instagram, you can find the profile of this person and block him. To do that, complete the following steps:

  • Find the profile of a user you want to block.
  • Click on three dots in the upper right corner.
instagram safety
  • Click on the “Block” button. Approve the action.

You can also report this user by choosing “Report” below the block option if you think that the user is harmful. 

How do I set up my child’s first Instagram account?

Instagram automatically sets any account to public right after creating it. If you are helping your child to create a very first account on Instagram (which is a good idea), make sure you set the privacy settings. There are at least 2 things you should pay attention to – privacy settings and hiding your child’s location. But you can also block inappropriate comments, remove suspicious followers or even block them (reporting is a good idea too), etc. So let’s see how to set your child’s first account. 

You can control who sees your child’s posts and photos by deleting followers you don’t know (the method is described in the previous section). For example, you can allow your kid’s real friends to follow the account of your child. But if you see someone who you don’t know, you can block the user. Or you can simply remove the follower of your kid. 

Comments control

Instagram is great when it comes to monitoring offensive words. It has a list of phrases and inappropriate words that can be censored in your child’s account. To block offensive and nasty comments, do the following:

  • Go to your child’s profile page by clicking on the profile picture.
  • Tap on the three dots button (settings).
  • Scroll down and find “Comment controls”.
instagram safety
  • You will see the “Automatic filter” category, then choose “Hide offensive comments”.
instagram safety

If you see that someone is commenting on your child’s posts and the comments are offensive but they are not under the “offensive words category”, you can simply block a user. The option is above the “Automatic filter” category, you can choose which users to block so that their comments won’t be published under your kid’s posts.

You can also turn off comments under a specific post. That way no one will be able to comment on what your child has posted. To do that, tap on the post you want to secure, choose three dots in the right upper comment, then choose “turn off comments”. It’s simple!

Hiding location

It is important since the Instagram app is using geolocation to show where the user is at this moment. There is an option to show or hide the location of the post each time you post something new. But if you want to completely disable this option, you need to switch off this function in the phone. If you don’t want everyone to track your child, do the following:

  • Go to the phone’s settings (not Instagram’s app).
  • Scroll down and find Programs (or Apps).
  • Then choose apps controls, you will see the list of installed apps.
instagram safety
  • Then find Instagram (you can write “Instagram” in the search).
instagram safety
  • Choose apps permissions and switch off geolocation. 

The app won’t be able to show the location of your child. It will be set permanently and your kid won’t be able to add a location when posting the photo. 

How to create a private account on Instagram?

To set your kid’s account to private, you need to do the following:

  • Tap on the avatar picture (profile photo).
  • Then choose three dots button (settings).
  • Scroll down below and find “Private account”.
instagram safety
  • Normally the “Private Account” button is switched off, so click on the bar and it will change to switched on. It will turn to blue color.

Only the friends of your child will be able to see what your kid is posting.

How do I check my kid’s followers on Instagram? 

If you want to control who sees the posts of your kid, you can check who is in the followers of your child. You can also control who your child is following, but what is most important is to control who is following your child. To check out who are the followers (friends) of your kid on Instagram, do this:

  1. Go to settings in the profile of your kid by clicking on three dots.
  2. Go to the “followers” section.
  3. You will see those who your child is following, they will be marked “following”.
  4. Click on the “following” button, that way you will unfollow him.

Your child might follow this user again so you can either talk with your kid and explain that this user can be harmful, or block the user for good by clicking on his profile, then on three dots and the block button. You can also report the user by choosing the reason why you are reporting him.

You can also delete the followers of your kid if you don’t know who this person is. You can ask who this user is (it might be a teacher or your kid, etc.), or you can simply delete the person from your kid’s followers. 

How do I control privacy for Instagram Stories?

If you have selected a “Private account” while creating a very first Instagram account for your child, then the stories will be seen only by friends of your kid. But if you don’t want someone to see the stories that your kid is posting, do the following:

  1. Go to the profile.
  2. Click on settings (three dots).
  3. Find Story controls (right above comment controls).
  4. Then choose users who don’t need to see the stories your kid is posting.

This is a good idea for parents and their relatives whose accounts the kid might be following. If adults have kids or nephews, etc., they can hide some content from them by hiding specific stories from kids. But that’s up to adults to decide. 

Protect your kids from Harassing Followers: Monitor Your Child’s Usage With Parental Control App

If you believe that your child might be against you controlling the usage of Instagram, you can use some apps that allow you to control the Instagram account of your kid. For example, there is an app called Glassagram that can help you to monitor what your child is doing on Instagram. With the help of Glassagram, you can see who your child is following, what hashtags are using, etc. 

There is also an app called Spyic that works similarly but offers much broader functions. In fact, there are lots of apps that can help parents to control their kid’s usage of Instagram account. But the best way is, of course, gaining your kid’s trust so that you can set up the account of your child properly. 

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