A parent’s Guide to e-safety

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A Parent’s Guide to E-Safety

Apps every parent should know about.


Whitchurch Primary School

Michelle Manning

Contents Page

16 Apps and Websites that parents need to know about 3

10 things parents and kid s should know about SnapChat 11

The Parent’s Guide to Instagram - (& How to Protect Your Kids on the Service) 14

Use Restrictions on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch 25

A Parent’s Guide to Applock - A free security app for all smart phones 28

How to Activate Parental Controls when searching directly on

YouTube.com. 32

In this parents’ guide to E-Safety I have included information that I have found very useful in helping parents to identify possible security risks when using some of the most commonly used apps such as Instagram and Snapchat.

I have also included instructions on setting parental restrictions on iPhones, iPads and iPods and also provided a brief overview on how to use ‘Applock’ which is a free app for managing security on an android smartphone. There are lots of security apps out there so please explore and see which one best suits your needs.

16 Apps and Websites that parents need to know about

Below, we've laid out some of the most popular types of apps and websites for teens: texting, micro-blogging, self-destructing/secret, and chatting/meeting/dating. The more you know about each, the better you'll be able to communicate with your teen about safe choices.

Texting apps

Kik Messenger

Micro-blogging apps and sites


Live-streaming video apps

YouNow: Broadcast, Chat, and Watch Live Video

Self-destructing/Secret apps

Burn Note
Yik Yak

Chatting, meeting, dating apps and sites



Kik Messenger is an app that lets kids text for free. It's fast and has no message limits, character limits, or fees if you only use the basic features. Because it's an app, the texts won't show up on your kid's phone's messaging service, and you're not charged for them (beyond standard data rates).

What parents need to know

  • Stranger danger is an issue. Kik allows communication with strangers who share their Kikusernames to find people to chat with. The app allegedly has been used in high-profile crimes, including the murder of a 13-year-old girl and a child-pornography case. There's also a Kikcommunity blog where users can submit photos of themselves and screenshots of messages (sometimes displaying users' full names) to contests.

  • It's loaded with ads and in-app-purchases. Kik specializes in "promoted chats" -- basically, conversations between brands and users. It also offers specially designed apps (accessible only through the main app), many of which offer products for sale.

ooVoo is a free video, voice, and messaging app. Users can have group chats with up to 12 people for free -- and it's common for kids to log on after school and keep it open while doing homework. Maybe they're using it for group study sessions?

What parents need to know

  • You can only chat with approved friends. Users can only communicate with those on their approved contact lists, which can help ease parents' safety concerns.

  • It can be distracting. Because the service makes video-chatting so affordable and accessible, it also can be addicting. A conversation with your kids about multitasking may be in order.

WhatsApp lets users send text messages, audio messages, videos, and photos to one or many people with no message limits or fees.

What parents need to know

  • It's for users 16 and over. Lots of younger teens seem to be using the app, but this age minimum has been set by WhatsApp.

  • It can be pushy. After you sign up, it automatically connects you to all the people in your address book who also are using WhatsApp. It also encourages you to add friends who haven't signed up yet.


Instagram lets users snap, edit, and share photos and 15-second videos, either publicly or with a private network of followers. It unites the most popular features of social media sites: sharing, seeing, and commenting on photos. It also lets you apply fun filters and effects to your photos, making them look high-quality and artistic.

What parents need to know

  • Teens are on the lookout for "likes." Similar to the way they use Facebook, teens may measure the "success" of their photos -- even their self-worth -- by the number of likes or comments they receive. Posting a photo or video can be problematic if teens are posting to validate their popularity.

  • Public photos are the default. Photos and videos shared on Instagram are public unless privacy settings are adjusted. Hashtags and location information can make photos even more visible to communities beyond a teen's followers if his or her account is public.

  • Private messaging is now an option. Instagram Direct allows users to send "private messages" to up to 15 mutual friends. These pictures don't show up on their public feeds. Although there's nothing wrong with group chats, kids may be more likely to share inappropriate stuff with their inner circles.

Tumblr is like a cross between a blog and Twitter: It's a streaming scrapbook of text, photos, and/or videos and audio clips. Users create and follow short blogs, or "tumblogs," that can be seen by anyone online (if made public). Many teens have tumblogs for personal use: sharing photos, videos, musings, and things they find funny with their friends.

What parents need to know

  • Porn is easy to find. This online hangout is hip and creative but sometimes raunchy. Pornographic images and videos and depictions of violence, self-harm, drug use, and offensive language are easily searchable.

  • Privacy can be guarded but only through an awkward workaround. The first profile a member creates is public and viewable by anyone on the Internet. Members who desire full privacy have to create a second profile, which they're able to password-protect.

  • Posts are often copied and shared. Reblogging on Tumblr is similar to re-tweeting: A post is reblogged from one tumblog to another. Many teens like -- and, in fact, want -- their posts reblogged. But do you really want your kids' words and photos on someone else's page?

Twitter is a microblogging tool that allows users to post brief, 140-character messages -- called "tweets" -- and follow other users' activities. It's not only for adults; teens like using it to share tidbits and keep up with news and celebrities.

What parents need to know

  • Public tweets are the norm for teens. Though you can choose to keep your tweets private,most teens report having public accounts. Talk to your kids about what they post and how a post can spread far and fast.

  • Updates appear immediately. Even though you can remove tweets, your followers can still read what you wrote until it's gone. This can get kids in trouble if they say something in the heat of the moment.

Vine is a social media app that lets users post and watch looping six-second video clips. This Twitter-owned service has developed a unique community of people who post videos that are often creative, funny, and sometimes thought-provoking. Teens usually use Vine to create and share silly videos of themselves and/or their friends and families.

What parents need to know

  • It's full of inappropriate videos. In three minutes of random searching, we came across a clip full of full-frontal male nudity, a woman in a fishnet shirt with her breasts exposed, and people blowing marijuana smoke into each other's mouths.

  • There are significant privacy concerns. The videos you post, the accounts you follow, and the comments you make on videos all are public by default. But you can adjust your settings to protect your posts; only followers will see them, and you have to approve new followers.

Parents can be star performers (without their knowledge). If your teens film you being goofy or silly, you may want to talk about whether they plan to share it.


YouNow: Broadcast, Chat, and Watch Live Video is an app that lets kids stream and watch live broadcasts. As they watch, they can comment or buy gold bars to give to other users. Ultimately, the goal is to get lots of viewers, start trending, and grow your fan base. Note that there are other apps like this that are less popular with teens such as Periscope, but Facebook has just included live-streaming as a feature, so expect to see more and more personal broadcasting.

What parents need to know

  • Kids might make poor decisions to gain popularity. Because it's live video, kids can do or say anything and can respond to requests from viewers -- in real time. Though there seems to be moderation around iffy content (kids complain about having accounts suspended "for nothing"), there's plenty of swearing and occasional sharing of personal information with anonymous viewers. In general, it mimics the real-life potential for kids to do things they normally wouldn't do in pursuit of approval but in a much more public way.

  • Teens can share personal information, sometimes by accident. Teens often broadcast from their bedrooms, which often have personal information visible, and they sometimes will share a phone number or an email address with viewers, not knowing who's really watching.

  • It's creepy. Teens even broadcast themselves sleeping, which illustrates the urge to share all aspects of life publicly and share even intimate moments with strangers.


Burn Note is a messaging app that erases messages after a set period of time. Unlike many other apps of this sort, it limits itself to text messages; users cannot send pictures or video. That may reduce issues such as sexting -- but words can hurt, too.

What parents need to know

  • It allows kids to communicate covertly. To discourage copying and taking screenshots, a spotlight-like system that recipients direct with a finger (or the mouse) only reveals a portion of the message at a time.

  • It may encourage risky sharing. The company claims that its "Multi-Device Deletion" system can delete a message from anywhere: the device it was sent from, the device it was sent to, and its own servers. But it's wise to be skeptical of this claim.

  • You don't have to have the app to receive a Burn Note. Unlike other apps -- for example, Snapchat -- users can send a Burn Note to anyone, not only others who have the program.

Snapchat is a messaging app that lets users put a time limit on the pictures and videos they send before they disappear. Most teens use the app to share goofy or embarrassing photos without the risk of them going public. However, there are lots of opportunities to use it in other ways.

What parents need to know

  • It's a myth that Snapchats go away forever. Data is data: Whenever an image is sent, it never truly goes away. (For example, the person on the receiving end can take a screenshot of the image before it disappears.) Snapchats can even be recovered. After a major hack in December 2013 and a settlement with the FTC, Snapchat has clarified its privacy policy, but teens should stay wary.

  • It can make sexting seem OK. The seemingly risk-free messaging might encourage users to share pictures containing sexy images.

Whisper is a social "confessional" app that allows users to post whatever's on their minds, paired with an image. With all the emotions running through teens, anonymous outlets give them the freedom to share their feelings without fear of judgment.

What parents need to know

  • Whispers are often sexual in nature. Some users use the app to try to hook up with people nearby, while others post "confessions" of desire. Lots of eye-catching, nearly nude pics accompany these shared secrets.

  • Content can be dark. People normally don't confess sunshine and rainbows; commonWhisper topics include insecurity, depression, substance abuse, and various lies told to employers and teachers.

  • Although it's anonymous to start, it may not stay that way. The app encourages users to exchange personal information in the "Meet Up" section.

Yik Yak is a free social-networking app that lets users post brief, Twitter-like comments to the 500 geographically nearest Yik Yak users. Kids can find out opinions, secrets, rumors, and more. Plus, they'll get the bonus thrill of knowing all these have come from a 1.5-mile radius (maybe even from the kids at the desks in front of them!).  

What parents need to know

  • It reveals your location. By default, your exact location is shown unless you toggle location-sharing off. Each time you open the app, GPS updates your location.

  • It's a mixed bag of trouble. This app has it all: cyberbullying, explicit sexual content, unintended location-sharing, and exposure to explicit information about drugs and alcohol.

  • Some schools have banned access. Some teens have used the app to threaten others, causing school lockdowns and more. Its gossipy and sometimes cruel nature can be toxic to a high school environment, so administrators are cracking down.


MeetMe: Chat and Meet New People -- the name says it all. Although not marketed as a dating app, MeetMe does have a "Match" feature whereby users can "secretly admire" others, and its large user base means fast-paced communication and guaranteed attention.

What parents need to know

  • It's an open network. Users can chat with whomever's online, as well as search locally, opening the door to potential trouble.

  • Lots of details are required. First and last name, age, and ZIP code are requested at registration, or you can log in using a Facebook account. The app also asks permission to use location services on your teens' mobile devices, meaning they can find the closest matches wherever they go.

Omegle is a chat site (and app) that puts two strangers together in their choice of a text chat or a video chat room. Being anonymous can be very attractive to teens, and Omegle provides a no-fuss opportunity to make connections. Its "interest boxes" also let users filter potential chat partners by shared interests.

What parents need to know

  • Users get paired up with strangers. That's the whole premise of the app. And there's no registration required.

  • This is not an app for kids and teens. Omegle is filled with people searching for sexual chat. Some prefer to do so live. Others offer links to porn sites.

  • Language is a big issue. Since the chats are anonymous, they're often much more explicit than those with an identifiable user might be.

Skout is a flirting app that allows users to sign up as teens or adults. They're then placed in the appropriate peer group, where they can post to a feed, comment on others' posts, add pictures, and chat. They'll get notifications when other users near their geographic area join, and they can search other areas by cashing in points. They receive notifications when someone "checks" them out but must pay points to see who it is.

What parents need to know

  • Skout is actually OK for teens if used appropriately. If your teens are going to use a dating app, Skout is probably the safest choice, if only because it has a teens-only section that seems to be moderated reasonably well.

  • There's no age verification. This makes it easy for a teen to say she's older than 18 and an adult to say she's younger.

Tinder is a photo and messaging dating app for browsing pictures of potential matches within a certain-mile radius of the user's location. It's very popular with 20-somethings as a way to meet new people for casual or long-term relationships.

What parents need to know

  • It's all about swipes. You swipe right to "like" a photo or left to "pass." If a person whose photo you "liked" swipes "like" on your photo, too, the app allows you to message each other. Meeting up (and possibly hooking up) is pretty much the goal.

  • It's location-based. Geolocation means it's possible for teens to meet up with nearby people, which can be very dangerous.

The bottom line for most of these tools? If teens are using them respectfully, appropriately, and with a little parental guidance, they should be fine. Take inventory of your kids' apps and review the best practices.

TV editor Polly Conway and former Common Sense Education writer Kelly Schryver contributed to this article.

10 things parents and kids should know about SnapChat

By Stephanie Abney familiyshare.com

The digital world we live in makes “do-overs" difficult. Snapchat's a tool that can be used for fun, instant connections with loved ones. Used inappropriately it can have dire consequences. Here are 10 things you should know before installing it.

  • As more parents and grandparents embrace Facebook, teens seem to gravitate towards newer forms of social media. They are weary of mum posting old photos of them and telling family stories, no matter how cute and adorable their parents think they are.

A popular app among teens is Snapchat, a free photo and video sharing app. Teenagers love the ability to "share a silly moment" with their friends, and in less than 10 seconds it disappears. Being informed and setting family social media rules can help guide children through a digital maze that may otherwise lead to heartache or disaster.

Here are 10 things parents and kids should know about the Snapchat app before deciding whether or not to use it.

    1. It's easy to use. Teens find it a fun way to stay in touch with close friends by sharing crazy photos while at the mall, at school (there are probably rules against that), or anywhere else. It's a digital communication tool and, as such, can be used for good or bad. Discussing appropriate use of Snapchat with your teens can help prevent problems if you decide to allow them to use it.

    1. Some teens assume that because video and photo texts or "Snaps" as they are called, disappear in just a few seconds the app is totally harmless. However, photos can be saved as screenshots. This is worrisome for parents because they have no control over what comes across their teenager's screen at any given moment. It also could become fodder for future cyber bullying.

    1. Snapchat has "Terms of Use" that need to be read and discussed. These terms include verifying the user is at least 13 years of age and, if under age 18, they have parental permission. The user also agrees to grant Snapchat access to their address book and allows it to upload that information to its servers. Now you have just shared private contact information on your family and friends without their permission.

    1. When you send a Snap to someone via "Snapchat" you give Snapchat a "nonexclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, sublicensable and transferable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such user content in connection with the services, subject to your use of privacy settings in the services to control who can see your user content." See Terms of Use.

    1. Once you create a Snapchat account, you accept total responsibility for whatever activity occurs while you are logged on. One 15-year-old boy exchanged Snaps with a 14-year-old girl. At first, they were fun. Soon she was sending photos of her wearing just her underwear. Eventually she sent some Snaps showing her topless. The boy saved them. When his mother discovered the pictures, she was shocked and checked the state laws. Because the girl was 14, it was considered child pornography possession for her son to have those photos on his phone. The girl's parents could press charges, and he most likely would have to register as a sex offender. Fortunately, this was handled between the families involved and a very serious situation was averted. (This information is from a personal interview with the mother).

    1. Even for kids who are careful and use precautions in what they send out and to whom they send it to, the fact exists that once anything it posted online, it is public – even if the picture disappears in a matter of seconds. It's still possible for anything you post to catch up with you. According to Adam McLane, "There's no such thing as anonymity online, only perceived anonymity. Any time your device connects to the Internet it associates 100 percent of your activity with your device. (Every device has a unique identifier, like a fingerprint. When you buy it and register it, that transaction is linked to you and everything you do with it is ultimately pointing back to you)."

    1. A modified version, "Snapkidz," is available for children younger than 13. They can still take Snaps, draw on them and create captions. However, the similarities end there. The function of sending or receiving Snaps is not supported. The entire experience occurs on the user's device where their Snaps are saved.

    2. Some Snapchat users may be surprised that forensic experts claim any data can be retrieved from one's cell phone, even after the images have been deleted. See the article, "Forensic experts poke holes in Snapchat and Facebook."

    1. Verizon offers good information for parents: "What Parents Need to Know about Snapchat." There is a legitimate concern that Snapchat could be used for "sexting" – sending sexually suggestive pictures or even nude pictures. Help teens realize that with the screen capture capability, it's possible for private pictures to be circulated on the Internet.

    1. Talk to your teens about Snapchat and all forms of social media. Find common ground you can agree on. Today's teens are technologically savvy. Let them teach you about the apps they like to use and why. Make sure teens realize that what they post now could surface later in life when they least expect it. One's online presence leaves a trail. Help them make smart decisions to keep themselves and their reputations safe.

This digital age makes "do-overs" more difficult. Remember, the only sure way an improper video or photo never gets distributed at-large is to not put it out there in the first place. Let's all learn to use technology for all the good it can produce and for recording the precious moments of our lives.
This article was written by Stephanie Abney a retired school teacher and freelance writer.

The Parent’s Guide to Instagram

(& How to Protect Your Kids on the Service)

check for instagram


Instagram (often referred to as Insta) is a free photo sharing application for your phone. You take a picture, you can add a “filter” to it (to make it black and white or to make it look vintage, etc.), add a description of the photo, tag friends (if applicable), add “hashtags” (more on that below) to “label” the topic of the photo and then you upload it to the site. Then other people can view your photo, like your photo or comment on your photo. The service also allows users to upload 3-15 second videos in the same manner.


You download the app and install it on your device. You’ll have the option to login using a Facebook login or registering an account with an email address. I make my kids do the latter, so that I can access it more easily should I ever need to do so. I know the email, I know the password. If I ever try to login to find the password changed, it’s an immediate loss of their devices for a month. They know that rule and they know we’re serious about it.


Once you’ve logged in, you’ll want to head to their main profile page (the icon on the bottom right that looks like a driver’s license). On that screen, you will see a box that says “Edit Your Profile”). Click that and you’ll see a setting at the very bottom that says “Posts are Private” – you want to make sure that box is on (the button will turn blue when it’s on).

mark posts private

This means that the only people who can follow and see the photos your child posts are people your child approves. Our rule on this is that if our child has not met someone in person, they are not allowed to accept a follow request from them.


If you’re changing the privacy settings on an already existing account, it will ONLY affect new followers. Anyone who randomly followed your child prior to that setting being enacted will still be able to.

If it were me, I’d go through the list of who is following my child (click on “followers” which will be on the top of the profile screen with the number of however many people are following them above it to see the list of who is following them). Anyone who can’t pass the “do you know them in person” test would be removed.

block a user

To remove people already following your child for whatever reason, click on their name and then click the arrow at the top right of their profile. A screen will pop up and give you an option to “Block User” – click that option and they’ll no longer be following your child.


You’ll also want to ensure your child’s phone number is not listed in their profile under “PRIVATE INFORMATION” – yes, I know it says it’s private but there is no reason their number needs to be listed.

You should also approve whatever information your child puts in their bio (text that appears next to a round circle with a lowercase i in it) and the display name field (which is different than the username field).


Keep in mind that the display name, profile picture and bio are visible to everyone, whether or not they follow your child. I’d recommend you leave the display name as a user name, or at most your child’s first name only.


One bad thing about Instagram (to me anyway) is that you can tag (say a photo is about a specific user) any user in a photo. Whether or not they follow you and whether or not you even know them. Anyone with an Instagram account can tag anyone else with an Instgram account. There is no way to prevent people from tagging you.

However, you can at least tick a setting that won’t allow any tags of you to show unless you manually approve them. On your profile page, click the square icon with a person inside it.

see all photos you are tagged in

When that screen opens, there will be a listing of photos you have been tagged in. Click the gear icon on the top right of that screen. A screen will appear – choose the “Add Manually” option listed there.

manually approve tags

This will at least mean you have to approve a tag of you in a photo before it appears on your profile.


Also be sure you’ve checked that the location services for Instagram have been turned off. Otherwise, your child could end up inadvertently posting their EXACT location when they upload the picture.

To do this on an iPhone, go to your regular phone Settings and then click on “Location Services” – make sure the button next to Instagram in this list is white and not green. While you’re in there, you should probably take a look at what else is being sent their location when they use it – and shut off anything you’d prefer didn’t know their location.


Even with Instagram locked down as much as possible privacy wise, it only takes one second for your best friend this morning who hates you this afternoon to screenshot one of your Instagram posts and put it out in the wild. We’ve made this clear to our kids. As such, we’ve set the following rules regarding their posts (your rules may vary):

  • No identifying your location. If you post something from the beach, you call it “the beach” and not the actual name of the beach.

  • Always triple check your pictures – especially the background – before posting them (the example I used was that I doubted anyone wanted a picture going live with a box of tampons visible behind them on their nightstand or that spirit banner for their high school on the wall visible).

  • No hashtags (need to know what those are? go here) that may reveal your personal information. I cannot tell you how many tweens and teens I see putting a hashtag that identifies their high school or their gymnastics place, etc. #MYHS #acmegymnastics

  • No pictures unless you’re fully clothed – this includes no pictures in bathing suits. We’ve explained how many pervs there are in this world.

  • No pictures from an above angle if you’re wearing a v-neck shirt (for the same reasons).

  • No purposely provocative pictures. Ever.

  • No posting pictures of other people without their permission. I don’t care if it’s an awesome picture or an embarrassing one. Always get approval from anyone in a photo you want to post FIRST.

  • No profanity and / or nothing that makes fun of anyone – even if it’s “just a joke”.

  • No participation in “beauty contests” or anything else that could make someone else feel bad about themselves.

We’ve also driven it home as hard as possible that anything they post online is NOT private, despite even the harshest of privacy settings and in the wrong situation it could be seen by everyone.


Now that we’d set rules to protect them from the asshats of the internet (and themselves), we also laid down the law on them commenting on the photos of others (your rules may vary):

  • Tone is lost on the internet. Be very careful what you say, because it can easily be taken wrong.

  • If you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.

  • No saying anything in a comment on a friend’s photo that might reveal their location or personal information (or their real name – if it’s not displayed, there’s a reason).

  • Never join a gang of idiots attacking someone online – even if you think they did something to deserve it.

  • Don’t ever say anything online that you wouldn’t repeat to someone’s face – in front of ME.

  • If someone ELSE acts like an idiot in the comments on your photo, delete their comments. (To delete a comment, simply click “comment” under any of your photos to bring up a screen that lists all the comments. If you tap any username and slide to the left, you’ll see a red trash can appear. Click it to delete the comment.)


We can set out the rules all we want, but that doesn’t mean our kids will follow them. I had an Instagram account before my daughter did, even though I don’t personally use it much. But if you don’t have one, get one.


She follows me and I follow her. I only spot check her usage, but I make sure that every once in a while I check what photos she’s been posting. How often you check is up to you, but make sure you check (however, I’d refrain from adding “you look adorable hunny!” comments on their photos, LOL).


She also knows that at any point in time I may request to see her phone and look at her Instagram on it without warning. Even though I can see her photos, I can’t see what she’s following in an easy manner via my own account.


So, I’ll open her Instagram and click the icon of a heart in a bubble. This shows me the lastest posts by who’s she’s following by default. This lets me know that she’s not following content I would find objectionable.


If you click the “News” tab on that same screen, it will show you all of the recent activity on their photos – so you can see comments people have left, etc. It’s a good way to check if your child is being bullied online.


While there is no way to see what comments a user has left on which posts (it’s simply not an option – even when logged into your own account), you CAN see a listing of every photo your child has “liked” from the options screen when logged into their Instagram account.

Click the gear icon on the top right of their profile. You’ll see an option called “Posts You’ve Liked” – click it and you’ll be able to see every photo your child has ever given a thumbs up on Instagram.


You can also view what hashtags your child has been surfing through from their account. Click on the icon on the bottom of the screen that looks like a snowflake. That will bring up a search box with some photos underneath. Tap your finger in the search box and another screen will pop up. One tab says users and one says hashtags. Click the hashtags button and you’ll be able to see any searches your child did for a hashtag and then viewed the results for.

search history

Keep in mind though that the search history can be easily cleared at any time on the options panel. Some kids know how to do it, some don’t. If your child isn’t clearing their search history, you may want to not make a big deal of anything you’ve found in their hashtags unless it really IS a big deal, or you can bet they’ll learn how to clear it, LOL.


If someone is bullying your kid on the service, there are ways you can report it to Instagram. There’s “kids will be kids” and then there’s the kind of messages or hate spewed towards a child like the one that spurred my writing this post.


If a specific person account is made for bullying – ala the “[juniorhighname]hatepage” account above, you can report that user as inappropriate. Using the same method I laid out above to block users your child doesn’t know (click on the person’s name and tap the arrow on the top right of their profile page to get a box to pop up), you can also report a user as inappropriate.

report a user


To report a specific picture as inappropriate, click on the “…” icon on the bottom right under the picture. A box will pop up that will allow you to report that specific picture as inappropriate (not, this option only shows up on the photos of others and not your own, in case your testing this on your own account).

report a photo


Should you ever wish to remove a tag of you in a photo for any reason, just tap on the offending photo. You will see tags pop up. Click on your name. A screen will appear that allows you to hide the photo from your profile.

remove tags

Once you’ve checked that off, you can also click “More Options” underneath it. That will pop up options to remove your tag from the photo and also report it as inappropriate if you need to.


If you see an inappropriate comment on a photo that is NOT yours, you can click on the comments button, tap that person and slide your finger to the left to get an exclamation point to show up that you can click to report the comment.

report comments

Unfortunately, you can’t report abuse on the comments left on your own photos, only delete them. But again, you can report the user in general using the above method and then delete the comment.


And remember that when you report something for spam, the person you report will not know it was you (in case your child is worried about retaliation). For more information on how to report abuse or bullying on Insta, you can check out their official help file on the topic here. You can also submit a manual report to Instagram if needed here.


Look, even if you get a degree on using and monitoring Instagram, the best thing you can do is talk with your kids about their usage. I frequently talk with my daughter about photos she’s posted (in a positive, “that was a great photo!” way). I refresh her memory on a rule or two here and there out of the blue.

When I see stories about “beauty pageants” occurring on Instagram, I’ll tell her about the story, ask if that’s going on in her school, ask if she’s ever seen one and I try to reinforce why those things are negative in a conversational way.

I’ve also made it clear to my kids that if they DO tell me about something bad that is happening to them or someone else on social media, that the result won’t automatically be that THEY get punished for confiding in me by losing access to their social networks. I’d rather be able to teach them how to handle / deal with idiots vs. them feeling like that either have to either keep silent or lose their access.

How I handle my kid’s Instagram usage probably varies from the way many others choose to, but I hope this post has at least allowed you to come away with a working knowledge of the service and how to keep your kids as protected – and monitored – as possible on the service.

By Rae Hoffman - Entrepreneur and successful online marketer

Use Restrictions on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

You can use Restrictions, also known as parental controls, to block or limit specific apps and features on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, including access to explicit content in the iTunes Store.

Turn on Restrictions

  1. Tap Settings > General.

2. Tap Restrictions.

Tap Enable Restrictions and create a passcode for Restrictions. Don’t forget this passcode. In the future, you'll need your Restrictions passcode to change your settings or turn off the Restrictions

  1. If you lose or forget your Restricions passcode , you’ll need to erase your device and then set it up as a new device to remove the restrictions passcode.

Restoring the device using a backup won’t remove the passcode.

Change your Restrictions passcode

If you want to change your Restrictions passcode after you turn Restrictions on:

  1. Tap Settings > General.

  2. Tap Restrictions.

  3. Tap Disable Restrictions.

  4. Enter your current Restrictions passcode.

  5. Tap Enable Restrictions, then enter a new passcode.

A Parent’s Guide to Applock

A free security app for all smart phones

By Jack Wallen - techrepublic.com

With AppLock, you can create a specific PIN (or an app-specific PIN) that can then be used to lock down whatever applications you wish to secure. It's incredibly simple to use. Here are some AppLock features:

  • Lock any app

  • Re-lock policy

  • Multi-lock feature (Pro version only): Add different locks to different apps

  • Auto-lock base on Time or Wi-Fi (Pro version only)

  • Disguise feature (Pro version only)

  • Theme support

  • Widget for quick lock and unlock

  • Quick lock switcher on status bar

  • Lock Android installer

  • Lock incoming or outgoing calls

  • Lock access to phone

  • Prevent AppLock uninstallation

  • Auto restart (to prevent app from being killed by task killers)

Let's walk through the process of installation and using this handy Android security application.


The installation of AppLock is simple. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google Play Store

  2. Search for "applock" (no quotes)

  3. Locate and tap the app titled AppLock (Hi App Lock)

  4. Tap Install

  5. Tap Accept

Once the installation has completed, locate the AppLock launcher in your app drawer and tap to launch.

First use

When you first launch AppLock, you'll have to set up your unlock password (Figure A). Enter a password that's at least four digits, and tap OK. You'll then be required to re-enter the same password, and tap OK.

Figure A

figure a

AppLock running on a Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy S4.

Locking apps - After you've confirmed your locking password, you'll find yourself on the Main Lock tab (Figure B). This is where you select apps you want to lock with the newly created password. Figure B

figure b

Lock as many applications as you like from this window.

To lock an app, simply locate the app in the Main Lock tab, and then tap the lock icon associated with that particular app. Once they're added, those apps will require the locking password in order to open. You can also set up a relock policy, which dictates how often you must enter the locking password in order to open an app. The relock policy can be:

  • Every time (the app is opened)

  • Until screen off

  • 1 Minute

  • 5 minutes

  • 10 minutes

To set this relock policy, tap on the Setting tab, and then tap Relock Policy. In the popup (Figure C), tap to select the policy you want to use.

Figure C

figure c

Every time is the most secure and every 10 minutes is the least secure.

After a lock is set, you can also rename the lock and even change the password. To rename the lock, follow these steps:

  1. Open AppLock

  2. Tap on the Tool tab

  3. Tap on Lock 1

  4. Enter the locking password

  5. Tap on the Config tab

  6. Tap Set Lock name (Figure D)

  7. Enter the new name, and tap OK

Figure D

figure d

Renaming a lock in AppLock.

If you want to set up multiple locks, you'll need to purchase the Pro version and can be found within the app's settings. With the Pro version, you can lock apps for business, home, and the public with different locks.

If you're looking for yet another level of security for your Android mobile, let AppLock help you out. This is an incredibly easy way to keep prying eyes out of app-specific data. It's free (the Pro version is very inexpensive) and does an outstanding job of locking down whatever apps you want.

YouTube Parental Controls 

How to Activate Parental Controls when searching directly on YouTube.com

After many requests from parents and educators, YouTube now has parental controls so you can implement YouTube Safe Search in your browser when searching from youtube.com.  In the past, you could only turn on safe search for Google’s regular search results to ensure safe browsing or by using this site to conduct all searches.

To implement the Parental Controls for YouTube, go to YouTube.com and scroll down to the bottom of the page….

You will see a reference to Safety Mode and it will say OFF...

Click the Off button to access Parental Control to turn on YouTube Safe Search.

Likewise, if you want to turn YouTube Safe Search Off, click the bottom what will now say “On”…

Locking YouTube Safe Search

As you will see, it’s very easy to turn safe search on and off. Therefore, you may want to lock it in order to ensure it is always activated for all family members.

To Lock the Parental Control for YouTube, you will need a Google account. To open a free Google account, go to google.com and click “Sign In” in the top right hand corner of their main website. You will then see the option to create a new account.

Now return to YouTube and scroll down to the bottom of the page to the safety mode link as shown above.

After selecting the “On” button, you will see an option to Lock Safe Search…

youtube parental controls

Select “Save and lock Safety Mode on this browser”. You will then be required to sign in to your Google account if you have not already done so.

Once Safe Search for YouTube video search is Locked, you can now log out of your account. Unlocking safety mode on YouTube will require you to log into your account. This guarantees that no one else can deactivate the safety setting.

best tablets for kids
Important: If you have more than one browser on your computer, you will need to follow these steps for each browser. Below is a video that walks you through the process of implementingYouTube Parental Controls that were just explained.

Consider using internet filtering software with full parental controlsto block access to bad areas of the internet. At the very least, use our safe video search tool.

Source - http://www.safesearchkids.com/youtube-parental-controls/

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