Privacy and Safety: A Guide to Parental Controls on Social Media

Are you concerned about your child’s privacy and online safety while using social media? You are among millions of parents worried about their children’s online presence and risks. 

Daily Mail reports that one in three kids aged 7-9 and around 50% of kids aged 10-12 use social media. While the number of parents using parental control has been increasing, it is reported that 40% of parents use some kind of parental control on their kid’s social media. 

As you can see, social media has been one of the most accessible means for communication, entertainment, sharing information, learning, and earning. However, the utility of these platforms has come with many associated risks, like inappropriate content, cyberbullying, harassment, and online predators.  

You, as a parent, should realize and understand the importance of protecting your kid's online and digital environment. Likewise, parents should learn and understand parental control. This will allow parents to restrict and monitor their kid’s activities and keep them safe online. 

So, in this article, we will learn about the privacy and safety of kids while using social media and software safety guides for parents. Moreover, we will cover the parental controls available on social media, tips for using them effectively, and the use of parental control apps. 

Let’s start with parental control features on some of the most popular social media among kids.

1.  Setting up Parental Controls on Facebook

Facebook has been one of the most popular social media since its introduction in 2004. It has the highest number of users on the social media platform, and a significant proportion of them are kids. 

So, setting up parental control on Facebook is inevitable. But how can parents set up parental controls on Facebook? We have prepared a parent guide on how to set parental control on Facebook. 

There are many in-app parental control features for the privacy and safety of kids, including privacy settings, controlling posts, blocking accounts, etc. the important ones are as follows:

A.  Privacy Setting

Privacy setting allows you to control the contents, users, posts, and other settings in your kid’s account. This will ensure that your kids are safe on this social media platform. Follow the given steps for setting the privacy settings:

     Open the Facebook app

     Click on the (Down arrow) three lines button on the upper right corner of the home page.

     Click on Settings & Privacy

     Select Privacy Checkup

     Set the privacy settings as needed.


B.  Restrict Personal Information

Restricting personal information on Facebook will help you keep your kid’s data secret from everyone else. This will prevent online threats and problems like online predators, cyberbullying, and even blackmailing. 

You can restrict personal information by following the instructions:

     Open the Facebook app

     Click on the Menu option on the upper right corner of the home page.

     Click "See more about yourself" and select "Contact info.”

     Select the edit option and click on “Only me.”


C.  Block Accounts

Blocking accounts can prevent unwanted and inappropriate users from viewing your kid’s profile, posts, photos, and videos. This also prevents them from sending messages to your kids. 

Here is how you can block any Facebook account:

     Open Facebook

     Tap on the top right corner of the home page

     Click on Settings and Privacy

     Tap on Privacy

     Select Blocking on the Audience and Visibility section

     Search the account you want to block on Search Bar.

     Click on Block.


2. Setting up Parental Controls on Instagram

Instagram has become one of the most popular apps among teens and kids. As a result, this famous social media has released a parental control called “Supervised Account,” which includes the following things:

     Limited Screen Time.

     Notification when your kids get a new follower, or they follow someone.

     Designated breaks in daily use of the app.

     Tracking how much time they spend each day.


Here are some ways to set parental control on Instagram:

A.  Setting your kid’s Account Private

Setting your kid’s account private will prevent strangers and unwanted people from viewing your kid’s Instagram profile, posts, stories, and other information. You can set your kids’ account private by following these simple steps:

     Open the Instagram app

     Click on the profile in the bottom right corner of the page.

     Click on the three-dot button in the top right corner.

     Click on Settings and then tap on “Privacy.

     Enable private account.


B.  Block Unwanted Account

Blocking unwanted accounts can ensure safety from online bullying, stalking, and other threats. You can block any accounts by following these steps:

     Click on their display picture to take you to their profile.

     Click the three dots or line button in the top right corner.

     Select Block.


C.  Report Inappropriate Comments or Messages

Despite the best use of this social media, you cannot write off the possibility of receiving inappropriate comments or messages on your kid’s phone. The best way to tackle this issue is by reporting the comment or message. 

You can report inappropriate comments or messages by following these simple steps:

     Tap on the post or the user who has sent the message.

     Click on the three-dot button in the top right corner.

     In case of a message, tap and hold on to the message and click report.

     In case of a comment, swipe left, tap on the comment, and click report.


D.  Turn Comments Off on the Post

You can prevent inappropriate and abusive comments by turning off the comments on your kid’s account. You can turn comments off on any posts in just two steps:

     Tap on the three-dot button on the top right corner of the post you want to turn off comments.

     Click on “Turn Off Comment.


3. Setting up parental controls on Twitter

Although Twitter is not much popular among kids as Instagram, there are over 200 million active users of Twitter, and without a doubt, a considerable proportion of them are kids. 

Twitter is the best social media platform where your kids might learn much about the world. But it is also one of the most unsafe platforms as there are no algorithms for controlling explicit and inappropriate content. Hence there is a need to set up parental controls on Twitter. Here are some ways you can set up parental control on Twitter:

A.  Set Account Private

Like other social media platforms, setting your kid’s account private is the safest parental control for Twitter. This helps you avoid any strangers from connecting with your kid on Twitter. Here is the step-by-step process on how to set your kid’s account private:

     Open the Twitter app

     Click on the Menu button

     Tap on Settings and Privacy option

     Select the Audience and tagging option

     Click on Protect your Tweet option


B.  Restrict Direct Message

Restricting direct messages can prevent abusive and inappropriate messages. Hence this is a crucial thing that parents must understand and consider. 

Here are some simple steps you can take to restrict direct messages in your kid’s Twitter account:

     Open the Twitter app

     Choose the Menu Bar, the three-lined button.

     Select the Setting and Privacy option.

     Tap on Privacy and Safety

     Click on Direct Messages, and the direct message will be turned off.


C.  Mute and Block Users

If you think any particular account might threaten your kid on Twitter, it might be a good idea to mute or block the user. Here is how to block and mute Twitter users:

     Open Twitter

     Open the user profile you want to mute or block

     Tap on the Arrow button.

     If you want to mute the user, click the mute button.

     If you want to block the user, click the block button.

     Select confirm.


D.  Hide Sensitive Content

Twitter does not have an algorithm that controls explicit content. Hence, you must be more careful about inappropriate content while your kid uses this app. 

So, here are the steps that will guide you to hide all sensitive content on Twitter:

     Open Twitter

     Go to Settings and Privacy

     Click on Your Tweets

     Tap Hide Sensitive Content



4. Setting up Parental Controls on Snapchat

Snapchat is arguably the most popular social media among kids and teens. However, this popular social media does not have in-built parental controls. But there are other features that can be used as parental controls.


A.  Set the Contact Setting as “My Friends”

Setting the contact as My Friends ensures that only your kid’s friends can contact your child. It prevents strangers from contacting your kid on Snapchat. Here are the simple ways you can change this setting.

     Open Snapchat

     Open the Profile Page

     Click on the Gear Icon

     Click on Contact me

     Select My Friends Option

     Go to the Who Can See section

     Tap on View My Story

     Select My Friends


B.  Disable Show Me in Quick Add Feature

This feature suggests your kids as friends to other Snapchat users. So, you must disable this feature to avoid any unwanted connection. Here is how you can disable this feature.

     Open Snapchat

     Open your kid’s profile page.

     Click on the Gear Icon

     Click on See Me in Quick Add

     Uncheck option


C.  Enable Ghost Mode

Enabling Ghost mode will help you prevent your kid’s location from being shown in the user profile. Enable this mode by following the given steps:

      Open Snapchat

     Go to your child’s profile page

     Click on the Gear Icon

     Click on See My Location

     Click on Ghost Mode

5. Setting up Parental Controls in TikTok

TikTok is one of th best platforms for kids to show their talents. As a result, millions of kids use this app for entertainment. So, parental control is essential in this app. There is good news for parents: TikTok has many parental control features. Some of them are as follows:

A.  Family Pairing

The family pairing feature helps parents control and limit their kids' activities and restrict their exposure to inappropriate content. However, parents must install the app on two devices (one on the kid’s phone and one on their phone) to use this feature. 

Here is the step-by-step process to enable this feature in your kid’s TikTok account:

     Open the TikTok app

     Click on the top-right button and tap Setting and Privacy

     Tap on the Family Paring button and click the Parent option

     Scan the QR code on the screen with your Kid’s device

     Set the Settings as per need


B.  Set Private Account

This feature will allow only the connected users to view your kid’s content. Hence, this feature will restrict access to unwanted or unknown users from your kid’s profile. 

Here is how you can set your kid’s profile as a private account in some simple steps:

     Open TikTok

     Go to your Kid’s profile

     Tap on the three-line button in the top right corner

     Tap on Settings and Privacy

     Select Privacy Option

     Click on Private account


C.  Other Privacy Settings

There are other crucial parental control features and settings in TikTok, like restricting direct messages, managing comments, blocking users, and restricting duet videos. Here are the simple steps you can take to set these features:

a.     Restricting Direct Messages

This feature helps you control which users can send your kids direct messages. Here is the step-by-step process for restricting direct messages:

     Open TikTok

     Go to the Profile Page

     Click the three-line button in the top right corner

     Click on the Privacy option

     Click on the direct Message


b.    Managing Comments

Using this feature, you can manage all the comments and restrict inappropriate and abusive comments. Here is how you can do it:

     Open TikTok

     Go to the Profile Page

     Click the three-line button in the top right corner

     Click on the Privacy option

     Click on Comments

     Manage and Filter the comments.


c.    Restricting Duet Videos

 This feature prevents other users from making duet videos on your kid’s content. Follow the given instructions.

     Open TikTok

     Go to the Profile Page

     Click the three-line button in the top right corner

     Click on the Privacy option

     Click on Duet

     Select the Only Me option.



Tips for Safe Social Media Use

Social media has become integral to the modern lifestyle. Kids, teens, and adults are using social media more than ever. 

Despite the best uses and utilities of various social media platforms, there are many threats and drawbacks to the use of social media. Moreover, these threats are more serious in the case of kids. 

Hence, here are some safety tips for safe social media use:

1.   Use Built-in Parental Control

Most social apps have built-in parental controls. Use such features to control your kids' exposure, limit their screen time, monitor their activities, and many more. 

These features will help you create a digitally safe environment for your children’s growth, development, learning, and entertainment.

2.   Use Parental Control Apps

Although most apps have in-app parental controls, they might not be enough to protect your kids from all kinds of online threats. Moreover, some apps do not even have parental controls. So, what can you do in such a situation? The solution is parental control apps. 

Many parental control apps are available on both Android and iOS, like, which can create the safest digital environment for your child. 

These parental control softwares can track and record calls and text messages on your kid’s phone. Moreover, it can access and notify you about inappropriate content and media, including photos and videos. 

Likewise, these apps monitor and track social media use and search history. Finally, parental control apps can track your child's location and notify you about any dangers. 

Follow these steps to use parental control apps:

     Select the best parental control app that suits your need.

     Install and purchase the premium access.

     Configure and manage the settings.

     Install the app on the target phone.

     Use the app.


3.   Learn and Understand the Apps

You can use parental controls and monitoring apps when you know about social media. You must first learn about the features of making social media safe for your kids. You can also learn about the emerging trends in social media to understand what is happening in real-time. 

You can visit the official social media sites or use the apps to learn more about these platforms. 

This will give you an idea of what suits your kids and what does not. After learning and understanding, you can take the necessary steps to protect your kids online.

4.   Communicate Openly

Once you learn about social media, its features, and its downsides, you can communicate the risks with your kids. Be sure not to be pessimistic, and do not criticize your kids. Have an open and positive discussion about the dangers present online. 

This way, you can also reach your kids the tips for responsible use of social media. Likewise, you can communicate and implement some safety rules for online safety for kids.


To summarize, social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and TikTok are great for connecting and entertaining. These apps are growing in popularity, so kids are becoming more vulnerable. 

As a result, parents should be cautious about the privacy and safety of their kids while using such social media. Almost all apps have in-built parental controls, which can monitor, control and restrict their use. However, you can also use monitoring apps for the privacy and safety of your kids.

Finally, understand that social media is integral to kids and teens nowadays. Hence, let them use it. However, considering the threats keep some limitations to keep your children safe.

What's your reaction?

You may also like


0 comment

Write the first comment for this!

Facebook Conversations

Website Screenshots by PagePeeker