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With the rise of social media as an integral part of life, children are jumping into this habit earlier than ever. Before you let your kids run their own social media accounts, it is vital that you educate them about using this medium responsibly. Failure to harness the power of social media for good can have lasting negative consequences on your child’s life and future opportunities. Here are three reasons why you need to teach your child about social media safety.

It Lasts Forever

Many kids erroneously believe that social media posts are temporary and fleeting. As a parent, you need to make sure that they understand that what they put out on the internet may last forever. Posting something inappropriate can come back to haunt them later if a potential employer or college admissions officer begins to dig around. Before you let your child engage in social media, you need to teach them that their reputation is at stake with every click of the button. This reputation needs to be protected at all costs.

What You Put Up There Matters

In addition to the social implications, there are a host of additional considerations that are not often taught. Did you know that social media posts can even impact your insurance claims? Because it is controlled by you personally, social media information gives a snapshot into your life. For this reason, it is important to carefully guard what gets released to the public to see. Prioritizing privacy and keeping everything that you allow your child to post on lockdown will help to ensure that it never gets into the wrong hands.

Understand That It’s Not Private

Many kids post with abandon, not considering that people other than the ones with direct access to their accounts will see the pictures and text. It is important to tell your kids that just like you monitor their account, other parents are checking out what their children and their contacts are posting. Before posting anything, your child should ask themselves if this is something that they also want all of the parents to see.

It is never too early to begin teaching your child about safe social media habits. Modeling this behavior for them will help them to see how to use this medium responsibly so that it does not ever negatively affect their life. 

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