Smartphones have made it easier to take high-quality images. This, combined with a strong urge to share images with friends and family, has led to an increase in the use of photo sharing apps like Instagram, particularly among teens. The research statistics also support this fact. According to the report published by Pew, 53 percent of youngsters use Instagram actively. In another report, it was found that Instagram is by far the most popular platform among minors between the ages of 12 and 17. While, most parents know a lot about Facebook, very few of them are aware of Instagram and how it works. Being parents, you must understand that what appears to be a harmless-looking photo and video sharing app can cause serious threats to kids. Below, we have discussed some of the shocking facts about Instagram which every parent needs to know about in order to ensure the online safety of kids.
It Reveals Private Photos of Kids to Public
Kids rarely take interests in the technical issues like checking the privacy and security settings of their social media accounts, which is not good. Most kids create an account on Instagram at a very young age, probably because all their friends are already on it. What they do not know is that Instagram account is set to public by default. This means that every picture they upload on the photo and video sharing platform is visible to everyone on it. This is as frightening as it sounds, especially for the parents with teen and tweens daughters who are not aware of the dangers of sharing questionable images and videos of themselves online, or anywhere for that matter.
It Reveals Your Kid’s Physical Location
Instagram offers a feature called location tagging that allows its users to tag the location where they took the picture. Most kids use this feature simply to let their friends know about their recent whereabouts, which is fine for them, but as a parent, you need to understand that revealing the physical location of kids is not safe as anyone with bad intentions (think predators) can use it to harm them.
It Does Not Filter Porn Images
One of the lesser known facts about Instagram is that it does not filter porn images and videos. This means that there are very high chances of your kid getting exposed to inappropriate content. Stumbling upon porn images at such a young age can be disturbing for the kids. Words like hot and sexy are also frequently used on Instagram, which again is not something that parents would want their kids to get exposed to at a young age.
It Promotes Objectification of Women
Every parent wants his daughter to turn into a smart, intelligent, independent, and strong women and his boy to respect girls, but Instagram does not seem to promote any of these values. Instead, it is creating a generation that judges people, especially females, on the basis of their physical attributes, which can be disturbing for your daughters as they will start focusing more on their outer looks than on their inner beauty. It also encourages young boys to become superficial.
It is strongly recommended that you monitor the Instagram activities of your kids in order to make sure they stay safe online. You may use a reliable parental control software like SecureTeen for this purpose.