To help you establish a good starting point with the most popular social media channels, we have collected here some useful guides to making your online experience a safer one. When the time is right, you can also ensure that your children know how to enjoy each application safely.

For all social networks, controlling the visibility of the content you post should always be the main consideration - this single step provides the foundation for ensuring that your content only reaches the users you knowingly connect to and trust. With the visibility of your social activity controlled, you should then make sure you are familiar with the steps required to report abuse for a given service or application.


Facebook has a comprehensive set of tools for the user to maintain their privacy and take steps to stop abuse.

The best place to start is the Privacy Checkup. On a desktop computer, press the Privacy Checkup button - it's at the top right of the screen between the notifications icon and the account settings button.

Once you've finished the Privacy Checkup, it's worth taking a look at the Facebook Privacy Basics guide. Broken down into four key sections, it explains how to control what others can see about you, how others interact with you, what you can see and how to keep your account secure. The guide can help you keep your personal information (your profile) private, prevent others from seeing any of your content or contacting you and removing your name from tagged content.

The Facebook Help Centre includes explanation of how to report things to the Facebook team that may be abusive, inappropriate, affecting individual privacy or intellectual property related. All posts in your Facebook timeline include a small menu at the top right where the post can be managed. This might often be 'I don't want to see this' to hide one post or 'hide all from...' to hide all content from a specific user. In addition to these, a 'report post' option is available. Instructions on how to use the Report Post option are presented to the user when clicked.


Less accessible than others, Twitter provides guidance for parents and families, offering guidance for safe use of Twitter and following the same principles as applied to other services, namely securing your account and profile and being familiar with the options for reporting abuse. Note that the Twitter guidance for how to report abuse includes specific references below the 'how to' instructions.


Instagram, is a popular photo sharing application, allowing users to share their pictures with the public (by default) or a select group of followers. Like most social networks, Instagram provides a useful help centre, including information for parents.

This visual nature of Instagram means that children using the service should understand what types of image are appropriate to share and how to respond when their privacy may be compromised.

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