As we all become more and more engrossed in social media, it is becoming harder than ever to keep your teenagers safe online. Here are some top tips to help...

1. Start talking about online safety from a young age so they are aware of the potential dangers.

2. Check that their profiles are set to private, ensuring that only the people they accept can access them.

3. Explain that they should never, under any circumstances give out their address or personal details online.

4. Teach them about ‘revenge porn’ and why it is so important never to share intimate photos on social media.

5. Ask your teen to accept a friend or follow request from you on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. This will allow you to monitor the content they are uploading.

6. Teach them not to accept requests from people they do not know.

7. Ask them to follow the same safety guidelines that they would in real life situations e.g. don’t speak to strangers or give out personal details.

8. Monitor the type of emojis they are using on their profiles. Sadly, many of them are being used to represent different drugs.

9. Set up parental controls to stop them from accessing potentially inappropriate or dangerous content.

10. If you haven’t heard of the app they are using, download it yourself to make sure you are comfortable that it is safe for them to use. NSPCC Net Aware gives really helpful summaries of all of the key apps that young people are currently using.

11. Advise them to set up strong, complicated passwords that cannot be easily hacked.

12. Remind them that even though some images on SnapChat and Instagram may only be available for a short time, people can still take screen shots.

13. Show them how to block people and report any incidents online.

14. Snapchat have recently launched a feature called Snap Map, which allows your contacts to see your exact location. Follow this helpful guide to disable it on their phone.

15. Similarly to all problems, make sure you keep the channel of communication open with your teen and encourage honest conversations about what they are getting up to online.


Don’t forget to watch Stacey Dooley Investigates: Kids Selling Drugs Online on BBC iPlayer now