Teaching your Child to be Safe on Social Media

Spring break social media safety

By Anjali Dooley

I absolutely love social media for the right purposes: to promote yourself in a positive light, to promote your business, political agenda, and view points. There are so many social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine (6-second video capability), and SnapChat…but the one thing your teen should not do while on Spring Break 2015 (or any other vacation/outing) is to get tagged in a risqué, stupid, or embarrassing picture that could be taken out of context and viewed by future employers, friends, families, or millions of unknown people.


Social Network Homepage On A Monitor Screen.


Moms, you know you may be following your teen/young adult online, but to have this talk with them is essential before you send them off on their happy way.

I want to give you all some advice on how not to get tagged and how to do damage control if your teen should get tagged in an inappropriate picture. The concern is not only angry parents, but potential legal liability. Laws against sexting and cyber-bullying have been enacted in all 50 states in the United States and is becoming prevalent throughout the world.

Facebook Profile On Apple Iphone 5S
Sexting is the sending or receiving of any sexually explicit pictures, videos, or texts, to another person via cell phone or other mobile device. The definition has broadened to include materials sent from computers and tablets.
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology.  Although your teen/young adult may think it is funny to take an inappropriate picture of their friend and send it to others, they could face stiff fines and possible jail time if done with or without the other person’s consent.

teen texting

So parents, don’t let it happen. As parents we are concerned about our children’s futures and safety, and this could happen to anyone, even us. A great way to explain this is that even though you are an adult, this could happen to you or anyone unbeknown to us if we are not in the right company.
The DO’s and DON’TS on getting tagged:
1. When going out with a group, make sure you DO know who is taking the picture.
2. DON’T just give your name to random people…or for that matter your phone number, age, birthday, and definitely not specific identifiers.
3. DO know how to use and disable/enable your social media features. Below is a list on how to stop getting tagged on Facebook. Working at home
4. DO set your privacy setting and make sure your PASSWORD is secure, complicated, and you remember it!
5. DO know your social media Community Guidelines and Terms of Use. Instagram has 5-point rules that are brilliant and can be found on this link.
6. DO know how to report when you want your picture taken down immediately.
7. DO know how to contact your social media providers and contacts.
8. DON’T draw other people’s attention to your picture—have it discreetly taken off.
9. DON’T do a million updates unless you want people to know your every move.
10. DON’T turn on your location services, then people won’t know where you are.
11. Be respectful to others and DON’T tag them in inappropriate situations. Ask permission from your friends before you tag them in a picture and I am sure they will do the same for you.
12. DO have fun, but be safe and be smart. Your future depends on it.
How to Stop Getting Tagged on Facebook: Instructions
1. Log in to Facebook with your email address and password.
2. Click “Account,” then “Privacy Settings.” Select “Customize settings.” Facebook Sign Up
3. Click “Edit settings” next to “Photos and videos you’re tagged in.” A new window will open. Click on the downward-facing arrow and select “Customize”. Under “Make this visible to,” choose “Only Me” from the list. This prevents anyone but you from seeing any photos or videos you have been tagged in. Click “Save Setting”. You will return to the previous screen.
4. Select “Edit Settings” next to “Friends can check me into places”. A new window will open. Choose “Disable” and “Okay” to prevent friends from tagging you when they check in on Facebook.
5. Click “Account,” then “Privacy Settings” again.
6. Select “Edit your settings” under “Apps and Websites” near the bottom left of the page. Choose “Edit Settings” next to “Info accessible through your friends”. A new window will open. Ensure the box next to “Photos and videos I’m tagged in” and “Places I check in to” are both unchecked.

**The information in this post is not intended as legal advice. For legal questions please seek the advice of a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.


About the author:

headshot of Anjali Dooley


Anjali Dooley focuses on helping businesses and individuals  with a variety of legal needs: employment contract review, non-compete agreement review, compensation formula analysis, formation of business entities (LLC/S-corp), privacy law issues   administrative licensing issues for a various healthcare, financial, & business professionals.

Send your confidential legal questions to Anjali at: Columnists@masalamommas.com

You can follow Anjali on

Twitter at:@anjalisidebar

On Facebook: www.facebook.com/anjalilawoffice

On her sites: www.anjalilawoffice.com and www.sidebartv.com


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