Social Media Guide for Parents & Guardians

Find all the information you need to know about parental guidelines and reporting resources for all the apps your child may be using in one place.


This will help your child use the internet responsibly and provide parents, guardians, caregivers and teachers with the information they need to ensure internet safety.

This guide colates common terms used, useful safety features and information on how to report content for the following apps; Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Facebook, VSCO and BeReal. For more information on internet safety visit

Additional Resources

Instagram is a free photo and video sharing social network. It is owned by Meta and has been operating since 2010. It is available on both Android and iPhone Smartphones and can be accessed on a desktop. Instagram is especially popular among teenagers but is also used by brands to advertise their products through celebrity endorsement.

The minimum age to use Instagram is 13 years old.
Common terms/phrases used on the app:
Useful Safety Features

Private Account: Having a private account will let your teen control who sees or responds to their content. If you have a private account, people have to follow you to see your posts, Stories, and Reels, and all follow requests need to be accepted by you first. People you haven’t accepted also can’t comment on your content in those places, and they won’t see your content at all in places like Explore or hashtags.

Profile > Settings > Privacy – Private Account

Message Controls:
Everyone on Instagram can limit who can send them Direct Messages and who can add them to group chats. That means your teen can choose to only receive messages from people who follow them.

Profile > Settings > Privacy > Messages

Blocking Accounts:
You can block accounts you want to interact with. This will block people from seeing and commenting on your posts, Stories, Reels, and Live broadcasts. The account that you block will not be notified that you have blocked them.

Profile of account you want to block > “…” in top right corner > block

Comment Controls:
You can be in control of who can comment on your photos and videos. In the “Comment” section of Instagram’s privacy settings, you can choose to allow comments from everyone, people you follow and those people’s followers, just the people you follow, or just your followers. They can also remove comments entirely from your posts.

Profile > Settings > Privacy > Comments

How to report inappropriate content

Anyone can report content on Instagram—from accounts, to posts, comments, DMs, Lives, Stories, IGTV, and Reels

Reporting a post

“…” on top right of post > report

Reporting an account

Account you want to block > “…” in top right corner > report

Reporting comments

swipe left on the comment > tap the exclamation mark symbol > report

Reporting a DM

Tap and hold the message > report

Reporting a story

“…” on top right corner > report

Reporting a live stream

“…” next to comments box at bottom of live stream > report

Reporting a reel

“…” on bottom right of reel > report
New Development for Instagram safety features: The Family Center

This new update helps parents know who their teen follows (and who follows them), to see time spent and set limits, and to allow teens to let parents know when reports are made.

Parents and guardians will have access to insights about how their teens use our apps, such as how much time they spend on different apps or new friends they make. They will also be able to set up supervision tools for each app, all from one central place.
The Family Centre includes an education hub, safety centre, transparency centre and a help centre for parents to understand the safety features on Instagram better.

Additional Resources

Tiktok is a free video streaming and sharing platform that allows users to make short creative videos. It is available for Android and iPhone users. Tiktok was released in 2016 and has been massively popular since then. Users are able to like, comment and share other user’s videos on the app, and receive notifications.

The recommended age for TikTok is 12+. If a user is under 12, they will experience the Younger User version of TikTok.
Common terms/phrases used on the app:
Useful Safety Features

Private Account: By default, accounts for individuals under 16 are set to private which means you can approve or deny follower requests, and only people you’ve approved as followers can see your content.

Accounts for individuals who are over 16 start out as public, which means anyone on TikTok can view your videos and post comments, or start a Duet to engage with the content you’ve created and shared.

Profile > icon in top right corner > privacy

Direct Messages:
Direct Messages can be sent and received from ”Everyone’, Friends’ (creators that you follow, who also follow you back), or ‘No one’. Only registered accounts who are 16 and older are eligible for Direct Messages.

Profile > Privacy & Safety

Family Pairing:
Lets parents link their TikTok account to their teen’s to enable a variety of content and privacy settings.
Find more information on Family Pairing.

Comment Controls:
If you’re under age 16, in settings, you’ll see this set as ‘Friends’. This means only those who follow you and who you follow back can comment on your videos. You can change this to ‘No one’ to stop others from commenting on your videos based on your preference.

If you are 16 or 17 years old, in settings you’ll see this function set to ‘Everyone’. You can change this if you prefer to limit who is able to comment on your videos.

You also have the ability to delete any inappropriate comments posted on your videos. Just tap and hold the comment, then choose “delete”.

Block/delete a follower: You can block another user from viewing your content or sending you a message.

Profile > Followers > “…” on the follower you want to block > remove this follower


Who can view your videos: You can choose who can view your video on the post page each time you publish a video. You can choose to make it only visible to yourself, to your ‘Friends,’ or to wider TikTok community.

Create your video > on post screen press ‘who can watch this video’ > choose privacy setting

(On an existing video) “…” icon on video > privacy settings > who can watch this video > choose privacy setting

How to report inappropriate content

Reporting an underage account

Go to online reporting form > select report an underage user > enter account information > submit

Reporting a video

Press and hold video > report

Reporting a comment

Press and hold comment > report

Reporting a message

Go to message > press “…” on top of right > report

Reporting another user

Go to person’s profile > press “…” on top right > report

Reporting a live video

Go to live video > press share > report
Additional Resources

Snapchat was released in 2011 and is a free mobile messaging application used to share photos, videos, text and drawings. Messages (Snaps) are deleted by default after being viewed.

The minimum age for Snapchat users is 13 years of age.
Common terms/phrases used on the app:
Useful Safety Features

Customise location on Snapmaps: You can choose to share your location with all your friends you’ve added back, just a group of select friends, or you can turn on ghost mode which means no one can see your location. Snaps you submit to Our Story can still show up on the snapmap in ghost mode.

Only add/accept close friends:
Only people you accept as friends can see your snapchat content, unless you have your settings as public

Choose who can view your stories:
The default privacy setting is that only Snapchatters you’ve added can view your Story. The privacy settings you have when you post a Snap to your Story will remain for that Snap, even if you change the settings later.

Know the difference between blocking and removing a friend:
When you remove someone from your Friends list, they won’t be able to view any of your private Stories, but they’ll still be able to view any content you have set to public. Depending on your privacy settings, they may also still be able to Chat or Snap you. When you block a friend, they won’t be able to view your Story, send you Snaps or send you Chats.

How to report inappropriate content

Anyone can report content on Instagram—from accounts, to posts, comments, DMs, Lives, Stories, IGTV, and Reels

Reporting a snap

Press and hold snap > report

Reporting an account

Press and hold snapchatters name > press ‘more’ > report

Reporting a story

Press and hold snap > report
Additional Resources

Facebook is a free online social network service that was founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerburg and became the largest social networking site in the world. Facebook is also connected to the messaging app ‘Messenger’ which allows Facebook users to message and call other users.

Facebook requires users to be at least 13 to have an account.
Common terms/phrases used on the app:
Useful Safety Features

Control who can see what you post: When you post on Facebook, you can choose what audience can see your content. You can also change the audience settings on existing posts.

Press “Whats on your mind” > below your name click audience selector > choose your audience (Friends / Only me / Public)

Control who can find and friend you:
Everyone, except people you’ve blocked, can search for you and click on your profile, but what they can see about you in search results depends on what’s shared with them.

Control what you are tagged in on Facebook:
The default setting is ‘Friends’ for who can see what you’re tagged in. Anyone can tag you in a post and it will appear on your timeline

Settings > Privacy > Profile and tagging

You can also choose to review tags before they go on your timeline

Settings and privacy > activity log > timeline, photo and tag review > review posts your tagged in

Remove content from your profile:
Remove content you’ve shared or posted on Facebook from view on your profile

Settings and privacy > activity log > “…” on top right of post you want to remove > remove from profile/delete/archive/trash

How to report inappropriate content

Reporting profiles

Profile you want to report > “…” on right > Report profile

Reporting posts

Post you want to report > “…” on top right of post > report post

Reporting Photo / Video

Click on photo/video you want to report > “…” on right > report photo/video

Reporting a Message

Go to messenger app > open message you want to report > press blue icon > ‘something’s wrong’

Reporting a page

Page you want to report > “…” on right > report page
Additional Resources

VSCO is a photography app which allows people to take images or upload images and edit them on the app. VSCO was originally released in 2011 but it has only grown in popularity among young people in recent years.

You can purchase membership on VSCO or use a free account. VSCO is available for android and iOS devices.

Unlike most social media apps, VSCO does not have liking or commenting features

The minimum age for using VSCO is 13 years old.
Common terms/phrases used on the app:
Useful Safety Features

Private Account: There is currently no option to make your account private on VSCO. This means that everyone can see the content you post on your account.

Location: The default setting on VSCO shares the location of where the image is taken or shared from. Users have to change this setting manually if they don’t want their location shared.

Deleting a post: You can delete a post from VSCO, however this does not remove it completely from any search engine results

Profile > post you want to delete > “…” on top right > delete

Unfollowing a profile: Unfollowing someone on VSCO will prevent them from being able to message you.

Block a profile: Allows you to restrict who can message you or favourite your images. When you block someone, they will still be able to see your profile and posts. You will not be able to interact with the profile you have blocked either.

Go to profile you want to block > “…” on top right > block

How to report inappropriate content

Anyone can report content on Instagram—from accounts, to posts, comments, DMs, Lives, Stories, IGTV, and Reels

Reporting an image

Go to image you want to report > press the options icon in top right “…” > report image > select reason

There is currently no option available to report an account on VSCO,

Additional Resources
  • BeReal is not intended for children aged under 13.
  • BeReal is a relatively new social media platform that allows you to share a photo with your friends at different times each day. You will receive a notification to post a picture at a certain time in the day and you will also be able to react to your friends’ posts.
  • The default setting is that your posts are only visible to your friends, however it is possible to share posts publicly.
  • You can delete a post at any time.
  • You can report individual posts or user accounts by contacting [email protected].