Advice for kids using Instagram

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Advice for kids using Instagram

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Instagram is an application that can be downloaded to your child's iPhone, iTouch, Android, or iPad. It's an application that makes it super fun to enhance the image of your photos and to share them with your friends. It's also important that parents know that over 15 million people around the world use Instagram. In addition to being a photo sharing app, parents need to know that it's also a social network and a bullseye of concern. Particularly because number one, via the photos that your child takes and shares on Instagram, thanks to the geolocation that's attached to your child's phone, you're able to share with the world, those 15 million people, the exact physical location of where your child is. So it's important that parents learn how to disable geotagging. Second, the profiles by default are set to public. That means any of the 15 million people can reach out without your knowledge, message your child, contact your child, and that can be problematic. According to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, in Instagram's own terms of service, if your child is under the age of 13 they should not have an account. So if they do and they're under the age of 13, it needs to be deleted. Now, if your kid is 13 or above and they have an Instagram account and you want them to enjoy what the service is meant to provide, make sure that number one, their profile on Instagram is set to private. Number two, you should connect with them so that you see the types of photos that they're sharing. And then number three, you talk to them about the fact that the number one flagging incident that happens on Instagram is based on nudity. And so unfortunately, you want to make sure that your child isn't exposed to any of that type of content. If your child is younger and they want an Instagram account, then it's really best that it be your account and together, with them, you can share the experience.

Watch Mary Kay Hoal's video on Advice for kids using Instagram...

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Expert Bio

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Mary Kay Hoal

Family Internet Safety Expert

Mary Kay Hoal is a nationally recognized expert on children’s online safety. She is the founder and president of Yoursphere Media Inc., which focuses on the family and publishes the kids’ social network Yoursphere.com. Mary Kay also offers parents Internet-safety information and tips at YoursphereForParents.com. She has been profiled on CNN, Fox & Friends, FOX Business, E!, Lifetime TV, ABC News Now, and The Reader's Digest. Mary Kay is also part of the "Web Avenger" team for ABC's 20/20.

In 2012, Mary Kay founded The Yoursphere Media Foundation and Coalition for Internet Safety Education and Reform (FCISER), which is dedicated to creating a network of community educators that provide children, their parents, schools and communities, with the necessary skills, knowledge and tools they need to have a positive and safer digital experience.

Mary Kay has also been published on sites such as DrLaura.com, Yahoo! Shine and ABC News where she's able to reach millions of parents. 

 

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