Instagram is a popular social app that usually allows sharing pictures and videos. It is equally popular with adults and kids because it has impressive features.
In Addition, Instagram has audio, video and call options. No doubt, Instagram is an amazing fun app.
But Is Instagram safe for kids? This article will discuss whether Instagram is safe for kids or not and how to keep kids safe on Instagram.
- Part 1. Is Instagram Safe for Kids - Parents Need to Know
- Part 2. How to Keep Kids Safe on Instagram?
- Part 3. How Other Parents Feel about Instagram for Kids?
- Part 4. Final Thoughts
Is Instagram Safe for Kids - Parents Need to Know
No, it is not safe for kids who are below 16 years.
Instagram is a well-known social app, but it can have a negative impact on kid's life because it has the following drawbacks.
1. Disclosure of personal information
The worst thing about Instagram is that it discloses your personal information to others. That's why people receive a lot of creepy messages on their Instagram.
Moreover, Instagram leaks personal information about those whose accounts are public other than private account holders. That is why most people keep their accounts private.
Moreover people usually ask why social media bad for kids? Because when kids make their accounts public that means they are sharing information about themselves with millions of people.
Additionally, when they add a post on an Instagram account, they also add location so people can know about their home, office, etc.
In short, scammers can take benefits from them. So they can be stuck in a difficult situation because of disclosure of personal information.
2. Addiction to social networks
The popularity of Instagram is due to "likes" and followers. More likes and followers mean the more popular you are.
So people create content for Instagram to gain more followers and like. Therefore kids spend a lot of time on Instagram to become popular.
They spend time creating content like videos, audio, post stories, Instagram reels, boomerang, etc. to get more followers on their account.
Additionally on Instagram there are funny and interesting videos available. Kids love to watch these videos. That's why kids become Instagram addicts, and it's hard to get rid of Instagram accounts.
3. Sharing personal information with strangers
If your child account is not private, everything he shares will be seen by everyone. You can minimize your children's interaction with strangers by changing their accounts from public to private.
Additionally, kids share their location with strangers by activating GPS options. Moreover, they share personal information with strangers in private chat.
Usually Strangers ask for their phone numbers, and kids share them with them. So parents should restrict their Instagram activity and change their account to a private account.
This means only those people will see your children's content whom they allow.
4. Inappropriate content on Instagram
Just like other social media apps, Instagram also contains some inappropriate content. No doubt Instagram is taking steps to block inappropriate content, but people are still sharing inappropriate content such as sex videos, pictures, pornography, etc.
That's not good for kids to watch this kind of content on Instagram; this thing can disturb their mental health.
Additionally, many Instagram pages are sharing sexual or adult memes, which is also not appropriate for kids, so kids should not use Instagram before getting 16 or 18 years old.
5. Cyberbullying happens on Instagram
Like all other social apps, people also report cyberbullying and trolling on Instagram. These can be strangers or even your friends too.
According to a survey in 2019, the cyberbullying research center claimed that almost 36.5 % of people faced cyberbullying.
This can lead to depression, school violence, etc. The main thing is that kids can't handle cyberbullying, and Instagram cyberbullying can cause severe effects on kids' lives.
Actually, it is saddest but true nowadays people are bullying each other on Instagram, they make inappropriate comments on each other's posts. So, kids should not use Instagram.
How to Keep Kids Safe on Instagram?
There are different ways you protect your child from the downside of Instagram.
Follow these Instagram parental controls tips.
1. Consider installing a third-party app to monitor your kid's usage
Various third-party monitoring apps are available online. These third-party apps protect your kids from different things such as cyberbullying, harassment, personal data leakage.
But KidsGuard Pro for Android is best for all of them. The KidsGuard Pro for Android can access 30 plus social apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
This app favors parents and monitors all kids' online activity. So, for example, if your kid is using Instagram, you should install the KidsGuard Pro app. This app will monitor your kid's Instagram account's daily activity and keep your kids safe.
Moreover, you can check their daily online activity on the KidsGuard Pro dashboard. Here is a guideline on how to set up KidsGuard Pro for Android:
Step 1. Tap on Monitor Now and skip to the website of KidsGuard Pro, then sign up for your own account.
Step 2. After registration, log in and go to My Product page. Click Setup Guide button, follow the instruction to finish installation of KidsGuard Pro for Android.
Step 3. When you finish correct installation, the icon of KidsGuard Pro will be hidden from screen. Now you can view your kid's Instagram or other social media activities on dashboard in your own computer.
2. What is the right age to use Instagram?
Well, according to Instagram rules and policies 13 years olds are allowed to use Instagram, but according to experts, 16 years is a suitable age for using any social media account, especially Instagram.
Because 13 years kids are not that mature to handle the negative side of Instagram. They can't bear cyberbullying so it is best to allow your kids to create an account on Instagram at the age of 16 years.
Related Read: Is TikTok Safe for Kids?
3. Set your kids to account into privacy
If your children's account is not private, everything they share will be seen by everyone. You can minimize your children's interaction with strangers by changing their accounts from public to private.
This means only those people will see your children's content whom they allow.
Here are the steps to change the public account into private:
Step 1. On your child's mobile, open the Instagram app.
Step 2. Login to your child's account.
Step 3. Go to the settings on the top right corner.
Step 4. Now turn on the private account option.
4. Limit screen time
If your kid is on Instagram, that's totally okay, but limit your child's screen time and just allow them to use 30 minutes each day. Excessive use of any social media platform is hazardous for kids.
However, Parents can set a daily time limit for Instagram. Moreover, they can set reminders and alarms to tell their children to stop using Instagram after a limited time.
5. Talk with them about security
All social media apps have security issues, and Instagram too. That's why before allowing your kids for an Instagram account creation talk to them about the pros and cons of Instagram.
In addition, Janis Whitlock says, "I appreciate talking straightforwardly with youth about their young person's social media experience.
This shows that either youth or adults are worried about what they experienced on their social media platforms.
6. Encourage kids to report bullying
Cyberbullying is the most annoying thing, and it is just unacceptable behavior. So encourage your kids to report and block that person on your Instagram account if someone is bullying them.
Tell your kids that you are with them, no matter what the situation is.
Moreover, if you're facing bullying and body shaming in the Instagram comment section. Simply report comments or accounts and block them.
7. Block unknown followers
You can block the account by using Instagram's blocking interaction. The blocked users will not be able to see your posts, stories, etc.
In addition, they will not be notified that you have blocked them. If your kid neither wants to interact nor wants to block, he can simply mute them. The muted persons will not be notified.
8. Set clear rules for your kids
If you are allowing your kid to create an Instagram account, set some strict rules for Instagram usage, such as:
1. Instagram account should be private.
2. Don't post sexually attractive posed pictures.
3. Add only known persons, no strangers are allowed.
4. Don't join public chat groups.
5. Limited their screen time.
How Other Parents Feel about Instagram for Kids?
Overall, parents are not in favor of the concept that Instagram is safe for 13 years old kids. According to them, there are privacy and security concerns that hackers can hack kids' accounts with anyone.
In addition, there are many inappropriate videos and pictures available, which make Instagram unsafe for kids.
Moreover, according to the majority of parents, kids become addicted to Instagram that’s why Instagram for kids is not suitable. Because of their latest features like beauty filters, live streaming, story, group chat, etc.
Now they’re all attention is diverted to Instagram; they spend enough time on Instagram. In addition, kids prefer using Instagram over playing with friends. So, from their point of view, it is not a safe app for kids under 16 years.
The Instagram app is the most used app, but this app is not suitable for kids because many things happening on Instagram are not good for kids.
For example like and followers’ competitions, trends, video call, private chat etc. Additionally, there is inappropriate content on Instagram too.
So as a parent, you must protect your child from dangers of Instagram and all kinds of negative things on Instagram. KidsGuard Pro can help you in this field to monitor kid's mobile include their Instagram accounts.