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.

Introduction

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 webwise.ie.

Additional Resources
Synopsis

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.

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