Instagram… Known and used by almost everyone. Are there any well-known risks of Instagram? Sure. But, it’s fun, loved by kids, and is the go-to way for many of them to share memories with friends and foster relationships with them.
According to Statista, 72% of all Instagram users are teens and young adults. Rightly so, as the app’s main features allow kids to share pictures and videos and post short disappearing videos—stories.
What makes it stand out is its functionality for picture editing. Children adore using all of those filters to touch up their snaps.
Moreover, similarly to Twitter, it’s a place for discovering what’s trendy and new at this moment. And it can also serve as a way to ignite kids’ creative expression.
Your kids can learn and take from using the platform. But, this is only achievable if they use Instagram appropriately.
Remember, there are many Instagram dangers you should know. And they are constantly lurking in the background as your innocent children explore the platform.
Now, parents should ask themselves, “Is it safe to use for my child, and what are the dangers of Instagram, if any?”
We’ll dive right in, so read on!
Table Of Contents
Instagram’s Misfortunes and Recent Revelations
After last year’s Wall Street Journal report on Instagram harm and the subsequent Facebook whistleblower revelations, many parents were rightfully infuriated.
These showed that the app’s key features are immensely harmful to its younger users, even more so to teenage girls. Body image issues and suicidal thoughts after using the app, increase in anxiety and depression. It can’t get any more evident that the dangers of Instagram for teenagers can be mortal.
Parents should be aware that Instagram’s Explore page can push their children to view content that can be pretty harmful. The culture of encouraging users to post only the best pictures and moments and Insta’s overall addictiveness don’t help matters at all.
Sucked into a validation-seeking hole, teens, at best, end up feeling very demoralized.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. What else should parents know about the dangers of Instagram? What kind of violent content can children encounter on the app, and what tools to protect them from it all exist?
Instagram Dangers Listed: Nasty Content and All The Associated Risks
Unfortunately, as we’ve already established, Instagram isn’t all sunshine and roses. Parents must be aware of a ton of dangers that the app has—from its impact on youth’s mental health to the many security issues it has persistently had over the years, along with such content that no parent would approve of.
Is Instagram safe for kids? Let’s see. Instagram is an inexhaustible well of content. Sure, everything depends on who they follow, but no kid is incurious enough to go down the rabbit hole of the Explore feature.
So what types of specific harmful content can your child face there:
- Sexual or explicit content. Entering the right keyword with a specific hashtag will get your child a ton of inappropriate stuff. It’s that easy.
- Drug use. Same here, Just key in the keyword beginning with a # tag, and tons of results will pop up. Following some bad friends may be enough for your child to encounter media related to drugs. Add peer pressure, and your kid may wrongly assume that it is appropriate to misuse drugs.
- Violence. Violent content may easily sneak into your child’s newsfeed. Being constantly exposed to violence can make a kid way more violent.
Other dangers of using the app? Well, there are quite a few of them you need to know:
- Social media addiction. While harmless at first, your child may quickly start feeling anxious, depressed, and unable to accomplish a single task without access to Instagram.
- Cyberbullying. This can result in kids experiencing fear, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. On top of that, they may have academic struggles and physical symptoms.
- Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). This fear is that jittery feeling and a constant urge to visit social media your child gets because they don’t want to miss out on the latest developments or whatever happened in the lives of their peers or celebrities.
- Social isolation. Sure, people paint a rosy picture of their lives on social media, and we all know it. And yet, your child may feel as if they are underperforming or just plainly inferior to others in some way.
- Self-esteem issues. Being constantly exposed to polished lives and the looks of others may lead to your child feeling inadequate. It may also result in mimicking those peers or celebrities, as your children will cultivate an unhealthy culture to get that one more hit of social media fame.
- Oversharing. Trying to gain that personal popularity may lead your child to spill the beans about their secrets or make inappropriate stories just to garner the attention.
- Unknown users and fake accounts. If your child’s account isn’t private, some random person may leave vulgar comments on your kid’s posts. They may receive some abusive messages from strangers or predators. No account yet, someone may create a fake account using your kid’s name and photos. The person behind that account distorts the child’s image in public with no effort.
- …and a whole host of other problems!
Okay, so how can you save your children, and what Instagram safety tips can we offer?
Tip #1: Use a Parental Control App, Such as eyeZy
If we were to draw up a list of Instagram safety tips, we would put purchasing a reliable phone monitoring app on top. Are you looking for the best way to deal with Instagram dangers without being too tech-savvy or bothering your child?
Maybe you should consider using a top-notch parental control app, eyeZy. With it, you’ll be able to log into your child’s Instagram without them knowing or knowing their credentials and see a detailed report on their online activities.
As long as you pick the proper monitoring app, eyeZy’s Instagram Tracker will take care of it all. Once installed, go to your Control Panel, move to the Social Spotlight section, and tap on Instagram Messages to know what they’ve been chatting about. The predators will have no chance to crush eyeZy’s defenses.
Other apps’ powerful features, such as Web Magnifier, will let you view the web pages they visited, should they use mobile browser version of Instagram. Or track their real-time GPS locations, and set geofencing, thanks to Pinpoint, to stop relying on misleading hashtags.
With eyeZy, your kid will get all-around protection, way beyond minimizing the risks of Instagram. And that is just a few of its features explained briefly. Imagine the powerful technology behind it to ensure your child’s safety online!
Tip #2: Rely Solely on Built-In Instagram Parental Controls
Instagram is sorely lacking in parental control, though they added quite a few features just a month ago. Even with these in place, you can’t be sure they are well-protected against the dangers of Instagram for teenagers. Before we get to them, consider covering the basics.
Begin with learning how to change privacy settings on Instagram, taking the steps, such as:
- Setting your child’s account to private mode.
- Blocking suspicious accounts straightaway.
- Reporting abusive content
- Turning off comments
- Checking the Time Spent & setting Time Limits
- Using Report Notifications
- Encouraging your child to use new features, like Take a Break
But is it enough?
Tip #3: Share Control Over Your Child’s Account With Them
Arguably the worst one on the list of Instagram safety tips, it’s still worth considering. Knowing your child’s credentials, you’ll be aware of all his activities there, apart from probably those deleted messages or the photos that are no longer there.
But is this really the way to go? You might regret losing your child’s trust, and it’s plain tiresome to shield them from the dangers of Instagram by constantly logging into your child’s account. Instead, delegate it all to the tool which does it all without letting you break a sweat.
Instagram does its best trying to reassure its younger users and their parents. Hopefully, their effort to solve any issues will bear fruit in the days to come, and never again will we have to ask ourselves, “Is Instagram dangerous?”. Only time will tell.
However, there’s a way to put things in order and drastically improve the quality of user experience that kids and teens have using the app right now. Does a parental control solution that does its job exist? It does. And you’ve guessed its name right. Its eyeZy! With it, you’ll be able to keep tabs on your kids on Instagram and elsewhere and do much, much more.
We hope you already set your eyes on the best solution there is and are ready to roll. Keeping your children safe on Instagram and elsewhere online isn’t easy. Choose eyeZy and put your feet up. With it, you’ll see everything everywhere—guaranteed.