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5 Things You Should Do Before Your Kids Join Social Media Sites

by Lindsay Hutton

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram — in today's 24/7 digital world, social media sites have become a part of your child's everyday life. Educate yourself on each popular site so that you can stay in the know about what your child is doing online, teach him about the importance of privacy, and open the lines of communication to make sure he stays safe from online predators — and so your child can navigate this tricky new frontier.

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Do Your Research


According to Consumer Reports, more than one-third of the 20 million minors who use Facebook are under the required age of 13. Additionally, about 41 percent of teens claim their parents don't know what they are doing online.

Get to know the social media sites that your kids are using. Set up an account, cruise around the site, and educate yourself on what each offers and how kids are using it. Be familiar with sites' age restrictions and know that kids can easily get around them. If you have a child under the age of 13, check the browser history on your computer. If you see Facebook listed, assume your child has created an account. Talk to her about why the age requirement exists and how it might be a good idea to hold off on joining.

Next: Communicate with Your Child

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