As a parent or grandparent, you know that keeping children safe is job number one. This was already a difficult task before the days of the internet. Now it's difficult times 100.
Not only do we need to worry about them when they leave the house and whatever dangers they may run into, but now we have to be aware of online predators. There seems to be one lurking around every digital corner.
That's why keeping tabs on what your children are doing online is so critical.
This doesn't always sit well with teenagers. Children are always looking for their independence and don't want their parents following their online activity.
In an effort to keep parents in the dark, some kids are creating fake social media accounts. They will create one account that can be seen by everyone, including mom and dad. Then they will create another account, one that they keep private and away from unsuspecting adults.
This has been a recent trend on Instagram. It's a social media site that is more popular with teens than Facebook. Instagram has an estimated 700 million active monthly users worldwide.
Now, kids are creating both "Rinsta" and "Finsta" accounts. Rinsta is their real Instagram account and Finsta is their fake account.
This could be an innocent enough situation. Maybe they are just posting make-up free or bed-head selfies that they don't want everyone to see.
But that's the problem. You just don't know what they are posting on these hidden accounts. They could be posting images that they will regret later. Once a picture is posted to social media it's out of their control.
And it's not just fake accounts created by your children that you need to worry about. We recently warned you about sexual predators who create fake accounts, posing as celebrities that children idolize.
They set up accounts on social media claiming to be teen idols like Justin Bieber or Harry Styles. The deviants behind the accounts contact young kids who are following them and ask for inappropriate, pornographic type pictures.
It's not only happening on Instagram either. Fake accounts are popping up on all social media sites.
The best thing for you to do is keep an eye on your kids' online activity. Click here to learn how to see what the kids are doing on their phones. Keep reading for more ideas on how to keep them safe.
How to protect children online
With kids getting their own gadgets at younger ages these days, it's important to know how to keep them safe online. Here are some suggestions:
- Have open dialogue - Make sure you talk to your kids about online safety. Let them know the risks that come with being online and that they can speak with you anytime a problem arises.
- Set parental controls - Take advantage of the parental control settings on your child's gadgets. These will help keep them from accessing inappropriate online content.
- Install security software - You can prevent certain online risks with strong security software.