As a parent you might be new to the perils of kids and the online experiences that I have seen happen. THE BEST ADVICE I CAN GIVE YOU is put the account on private.. Ive seen so may thing happen to kids who have public accounts its unreal..and IG does very little to protect you. So unless you have endless amounts of time to go through each follower, monitor chat from new followers and keep an eye out for the kind of comments and requests for photos you dont want your kiddo to read .. PRIVATE is the way to go.. In the Kids model industry we are calling it EXCLUSIVE!!
I want to recommend a You Tuber who works very hard to bring awareness by the name of Joey Salads who has done various videos about predators and what they will try to gain access to your child..if you would like to learn more about his work, click on the images below :)
Puppy lure Ice Cream van predator
#THE PROBLEM WITH HASHTAGS & your kids on Public Accounts on social media #
As a parent of two kids I understand the social media battle that goes along with life these days. Social media is for most of us a part of our childrens lives and we must as parents fully understand the ramifications of what that can mean. Instagram and FB which is making an "old school" comeback are owned by the same company and have very little protection for your child should their account be on public mode. Public means your childs life is open to a global market of both good and bad experiences. **what I see a lot of kids doing is opening a FINSTA (fake Insta) account which is very private and works well for protection. Again, friend requests should be checked but its a lot safer as FInstas usually don't show photos of the kids as profile images.
IG now allows people to search for or follow and automatically be notified about # hashtags which means if your child uses them on a public account they can be found using that alone. Pedophiles use this as a very easy tool to view children's photographs or pages containing images where the # are present. Wether you like it or not they can legally screen shot images and share them onto pages, catalogs if you will of children around the world which will also list their IG profile link. Comments are then made that will make your hair stand on end (I constantly have to see this in my efforts to help mums and dads) AND we are unable to for the most part at the moment get the images removed and offenders pages shut down due to current IG rules. Its that simple.
ANY HASHTAG # description of body parts, ie hair, eyes, hands, feet, tush, naked baby, teen, tween, model, is easy for them to find. Pedophiles seriously thank you if they find public accounts of dancers, gymnasts, childrens swimwear and children in underwear due to tight clothing and leg positions and their imagination. Children of all ages eating food close up ( especially if the camera is looking down on the child) are favored and at the moment FEET...childrens FEET..
MODELING: If your child is in the modeling industry, there is a subconscious pressure to have a public Instagram account, however I can tell you hand on heart that in my many years of wrangling on set I have yet to find a client who booked a child due to their number of Instagram followers or Instagram account.. EVER.
ACCOUNTS WHO ASK TO SHARE YOUR PHOTOS: For the most part, any account who asks to share your photo is not doing it for your child's best interests, its most probably one of two things, content for them to have more people follow their account and you can not control who follows it or free advertising.
Please take a look at the lists of followers of the account and also who's liking the images and comments that are made.
If you begin to see a pattern of similar accounts liking shots, same names of accounts but with a different number or _ and emojis which are also a common way that predators express a like for a child's photo, I would BLOCK, the account and the predators if your child is on the account already. I will also stress that no grown ass man unless they are related to the child is interested in a kids site for any good reason. If you do decide to have a page share your childs photo take care if their IG handle is also posted beneath..it's a direct path to your son or daughter.
If you are not sure of an account BLOCK. Blocking an account stops it from finding you. IF YOU HAVE THE IG APP DOWNLOADED: go to the account you want to blocks profile and press the THREE DOTS on the top right hand page of your screen. If you do not have a IG app go to the accounts page you want to block and you will see their name and and next to that a blue box and THEN the 3 dots.. again press on that and options will pop up for you. Below is a fun example. Please note: Their account is also on private.. ITS A GOOD THING TO BE ON PRIVATE!!
Another You Tuber called Coby Persin also has videos which I have posted below that I think get the message across very well for kids to understand the dangers of predators and fake accounts. Please do take a moment to watch and share. These are REAL reactions from the kids who had no idea it was not the person they were talking to online!
USE CYBERTIP IN ALL CASES WHEN REPORTING,
If you are reporting an image or profile I would also advise reporting it to this too at the same time. https://report.cybertip.org It takes your reports and concerns seriously and I have found it very useful as a way to help catch pedophiles who share photos of exploited kids which I have reported it IG and received the response that the image does not break community guidelines. North Carolina police just informed me that they were able to arrest one pedophile this month because of a cybertip line report! It works!! Parents and I have come to the conclusion that the reports to IG and FB are scanned electronically as a way to explain the sheer stupidness of the system where accounts are not removed unless reported in double figure times...keep reporting and don't give up.. your gut instinct is the BEST thing you have. Please do consider signing the petition to help us ask for more protection against pedophiles.