Should your child be on Social Media?

Social media readiness

Is my child old enough to use social media?

Both the physical age of your child and their level of maturity and resilience can impact their ability to handle social media, but as a rule, each social networking site and app has its own criteria for minimum age requirements. Some services cater for more adult audiences (i.e. dating sites).

Why is 13 the minimum recommended age?

Most sites require users to be at least 13 years of age before they can register, although some sites, such as Club Penguin, are created especially for children under 13. Generally, the 13-year age requirement is not necessarily because the site is unsafe for children to use but to comply with a US law – the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA), which prevents collection and storage of personal information from children under 13 years of age.

How do I know if my child ready to use social media?

We suggest considering these questions to determine your child’s readiness for social media.

Is your child able to withstand taunts from others?

If you think your child will become very upset if they have a negative experience online, then you may need you to guide them through the use of social platforms. If you give them permission to establish a social media account, then look through their profiles and public feeds together, talk about how some people behave differently online and teach them how to filter abusive comments, block and report people.

Does your child understand what’s safe to put online?

If you're concerned that they may post personal information that allows people to identify and locate them—even after you have talked through the dangers—then they may need your help to use social networking sites. Talk about the risks of 'checking in', posting sexy or flirty pictures, meeting online friends in person, making offensive comments, and what is not acceptable.

Does your child understand the importance of protecting their personal information?

Explaining to a child why privacy is important can be difficult. We suggest explaining what personal information is and that it can also include their mobile number, pictures, workplace name and shifts, sporting club and game schedule, holiday dates, credit card details and banking information.

Source: https://www.esafety.gov.au/education-resources/iparent/staying-safe/social-networking/social-media-readiness