As you probably know, Twitter is a popular social media platform that allows users to share their thoughts, opinions, and links with the world via short messages consisting of 140 characters or less. Twitter is open to any individual age 13 or over, and according to the site, it’s a relatively safe place for your teenager to express himself and learn (or be entertained by) the expressions of others.
Is Twitter really safe, though? Should you allow your child to open or maintain an account? These are valid questions, and the answers may vary from family to family. If you are concerned about your child’s current or future Twitter activity, there are some things you can do to minimize his risk and monitor his activity to prevent any harm from coming his way.
Talk to your child.
One of the very best ways to prevent your child from encountering danger on Twitter or any other social media network is to talk to him about safe online practices. Discuss the dangers of sharing personal information online, especially in regards to physical location. Make sure you tell your child that there are impersonators on Twitter and that they should not ever assume that someone is really who they say they are. Twitter is a platform for self-expression and sharing of ideas, but should never be used as a way to meet people or form relationships. Finally, talk to your child about the prevalence of cyberbullying and let him know that she can come to you if anything even resembling this harmful practice happens to him.
Follow your child.
Not physically, of course! Following your child on Twitter will require that you create an account of your own, find your child on Twitter, and click the “Follow” button beside his username. This will ensure that all of his tweets show up on your Twitter timeline, so you can see exactly the kinds of things he’s sharing on the social media network. You’ll also have access to your child’s Twitter profile which means you can view any public messages sent to him by other Twitter users. This isn’t a complete safeguard, of course. Twitter does allow users to send direct messages to one another that are private in the sense that they cannot be viewed by other users—like you!.
Use parental control software.
If a problem arises with Twitter, there are steps you can take to monitor and control your child’s activity on the social media platform. Whether you have to ban Twitter due to a bad experience or are simply worried about how much time your child is spending on the site, parental control software can help you take control of the situation. Apps like Qustodio can provide you with detailed reports about your child’s online activity as well as the ability to block certain sites including social media networks like Twitter.
Want to keep track of your child’s activity on Twitter or other social media sites? Visit www.qustodio.com and download our free parental software today!