This social network is an agile way to stay up to date, communicate, and position yourself socially. Learn how to get your children to use their functions safely and responsibly
Instagram on mobile
The profile of young people and adolescents on the social network Instagram has become a kind of book where only their best photos and videos appear, to convey an appearance of perfection and an attractive, successful, and enviable lifestyle.
From the National Institute of Cybersecurity (INCIBE), through the Secure Internet for Kids (IS4K), we approach you to Instagram to prevent risks and that both parents and educators can get involved by helping minors make safe use and responsible for the functions that this app offers.
Share Your day to day on Instagram
Instagram is among the most used social networks by teenagers, according to the study published by IAB Spain. They find it so attractive because it has become an agile means of communicating and positioning itself socially, as well as keeping up to date with topics that each user may be interested in.
Among the functions it offers, the possibility of sharing permanent images and videos in the profile stands out, thus building a public image; temporarily share other moments through stories; broadcast lives videos or make use of options such as “tags”, “likes”, hashtags and links to recommendations on the Internet (about products, other information, etc.).
There is social pressure among minors to maintain an active profile, so it is common for young people and adolescents to publish content daily. The platform itself uses a content prioritization algorithm when deciding which news from our contacts shows us first and which later, evaluating, among other things, the frequency of publication.
Also, the current trend is to instantly share what is being done, a phenomenon that was reinforced with the option of creating stories or stories, and that encouraged many young people and adolescents to join it as influencers or Instagrammers. The great reception of the stories gave rise to the appearance of Instagram TV or IGTV, which allows live videos to be broadcast as if the user had his television program.
From INCIBE, through IS4K, we want to transfer a series of recommendations to make stories safely, since if you have teenage children who use Instagram, they may share stories.
How to achieve the balance between use and security on Instagram?
As adults, it is necessary to get involved in the use made by minors, as well as to know a minimum of the characteristics of this social network. Sharing browsing times with our son and letting the child explain how it works, in addition to knowing what he usually sees or what he shares, are actions that will help. It is also recommended:
- Work on aspects related to self-esteem and social skills. Instagram plans to stop showing the number of likes received for the rest of the audience. In any case, children can be helped to reduce this pressure, talking about the value of “likes” and reaffirming their self-esteem.
- To ensure that minors use private accounts to limit their exposure, avoiding accepting anyone as friends. Also, it is convenient to review together with the privacy, security, and well-being options of the application.
- Encourage them to check the images and videos in which they are tagged, where appropriate, request the authors to remove them.
- Learn to block and report annoying users and inappropriate content. When someone comments on a story, it does not appear publicly as it happens in profile images but is sent privately to the protagonist of the story. There is an option to disable comments on stories; just go to profile> settings> privacy> history.
There is a concern about negative interactions, so automatic features are also being developed from Instagram to inform the user when they suspect they want to share an offensive or dangerous comment. Additionally, through IS4K, there is a resource for conflict prevention classroom work on Instagram. Control usage. Some minors may become more aware of what is happening on Instagram than what is happening around them. For this reason, adequate time management must be carried out to avoid constant consultation and sharing on the social network, to prevent excessive use.
Work Critical Capacity
Influencers and Instagrammers abound on Instagram. It is important to contrast the information and promote critical capacity since sometimes they can apply all kinds of recommendations without prior reflection.
Common Sense with What is Shared
Minors often publishes excessive details of their intimate life, both regarding moments and everyday places and scenes that may be detrimental to their reputation. Also, it is advisable to avoid reporting where you are in real-time, taking into account that when you say where you are, you are also saying where you are not.
Have resources such as the ‘Guide to safety in social networks for families’ or know that you can use the INCIBE Cybersecurity Helpline (dialing number 017), in case of any problem or doubt regarding the safe and responsible use of the Internet are options that will facilitate parents to carry out adequate parental mediation.