Instagram Practical tips for safety and use
Do you want to know what tips will make your accounts more secure? Well, join me in this article where I will give you practical advice on the use of Instagram
Instagram for teens. 10 Tips to make good use of this social network.
1. Legal age.
The minimum age to open an account on Instagram as well as most social networks is 14 years old. In my case, I must say that as a teacher of first year Secondary students, a considerable number of students already have an Instagram account and most of them are not of legal age to create their own profile.
2. Private profile.
In the case of teenagers, it is recommended that when they create an account on Instagram, it be private, that is, only those who have been accepted can see their publications. This is, surely, the most important advice and that as educators we must supervise.
3. Monitor the profile periodically and know the access passwords.
In the case of underage Instagram users, it is recommended that parents periodically supervise their children's publications. This monitoring can be done in two ways:
Accessing directly by accessing the profile through your username and password (more invasive)
Be part of the followers of the account and thus see both the publications and the Stories (less invasive)
4. Limit the use of hastags.
For some time, Instagram has encouraged its users to add the maximum number of hastags in their publications. And what are hastags? The hastags are used to search the social network itself by adding in front of a word or an emoticon the # symbol called the hash mark. Some of these hastags have sexual content or invite violence. Hence the importance of your supervision.
However, its good use allows to search for people with common interests such as, for example, food (eg #food, #instafood #yummy, #foodie) and Instagram insists a lot on its use as one of the best ways to grow in number of followers, something that should not be a priority in adolescents.
5. Avoid putting the location of a photo.
Another recommendation to make good use of the Instagram social network for teenagers is to avoid geolocation of a photograph.
When a photo or a Stories is published, Instagram allows you to tag other profiles in the same photo or Stories, as well as add the location of the place where the photo was taken. Once the photo is published and geolocated, people can know where they are or have been.
6. Put little information in the bio (biography).
Another basic recommendation is to avoid putting very detailed information in the profile. Instagram allows you to have a profile photo, a biography that does not exceed 150 characters, a link, a city or place and hastags. It also allows you to provide your email or phone account (these last two are always private by default).
As you can see, in a biography that is public, very sensitive information can be given regarding adolescents. One piece of advice, in the event that there is a link to the biography, see which web page it leads to.
7. Captures of the Stories.
Today, Instagram has the advantage that it allows you to know if a screenshot has been made of any of the Stories that have been published. This information can be very important in case of misuse or Stories with compromised images or videos. Therefore, it is very important to be very careful in the content that is published and more so in the Stories than in the account's own video and photo publications.
8. Monitor the number of followers.
Although it is difficult to determine what should be the maximum number of followers that a profile of a teenager should have, we could say that, under normal conditions, it should not exceed two or three hundred followers. In case this figure is higher or much higher, what it shows is that a very high percentage of these followers have been made virtually and are not known by your children personally, which is still a potential danger.
9. Block, unfollow and report.
When the misuse, abuse or harassment comes from third parties, the most sensible thing to do is to block said user, stop following them and file a possible complaint. Regarding the latter, it is important that screenshots are taken to have evidence of any inappropriate behavior.
10. Monitor the Search section (magnifying glass option).
Instagram allows certain searches based on our interests. Thus, at the bottom of the application there is a "magnifying glass" in which we are offered different photos and videos. These photos and videos appear based on the photos that each user views by clicking on it. Using different algorithms, Instagram offers each user a profile with their preferences. If you consult the search, you will be able to know what content is of interest to your children and it will give you a clue in case there is content that is inappropriate for their age and that is, for example, related to sex or violence.
11. Supervise the comments of the publications and Stories.
Instagram allows users who are part as followers of an account of a profile that has been accepted or is open to comment on any photo or video. It is important that you review what type of comments appear and what profiles are repeated and if these profiles are known or are part of the adolescent's school or family environment.
In the case of Stories you can also comment. You simply have to slide a finger to the left on the profile screen and the conversations that your children have carried out from their Stories will appear (for this you must have accessed the account).
12. Publications in which third parties appear.
It is very important to make the youngest aware of the importance of respecting the fact that third parties appear in photos and videos. Said photos and videos must always have the full consent of this third person.
13. Do I upload it or not upload it?
Another fundamental aspect is to insist a lot on the importance of thinking very well which photos and Stories will be uploaded to the Instagram social network. Because once uploaded, this photo or video is no longer under control and belongs not to your child, but to the network. And sometimes you may regret uploading a photo and deleting it, but it may be too late because in a couple of seconds any user can take a screenshot
14. Know what people, brands or entities you follow.
This last advice lies in the supervision that as parents and educators you must do of the people, brands or entities your children follow on Instagram. Above all, it is important to know what values are those that these people, brands or entities transmit, especially in a consumer society like the one we are immersed in.