Topic

All About the Platforms

What’s the difference between a DM and an IM? Can strangers see what my kid is posting? Are gaming platforms the same as social media? When it comes to the places kids connect online, there’s a lot to sort out. Understanding how the different spaces work will help you to keep your kids safe.

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Tasks

What you can do now

1

Talk to your kid about their favorite platforms

It’s impossible to know everything there is to know about social media or gaming, so tap into your greatest resource – your child. If they talk about something they saw while playing games, or an app one of their friends has, use that opportunity to ask them about how the app or game works. While your kids are a great jumping off point, there are plenty of adult-sourced resources to give you even more insight.

2

Familiarize yourself with platform-specific resources

Most apps and platforms that are popular with kids (even if they don’t meet age requirements) have safety resources available for parents. These guides can include everything from platform overviews to expert advice to important resources around reporting issues. Even if your child isn’t yet using the app, take a look and be sure to bookmark these for future reference.

3

Discuss what happens on platforms - good and bad

A dialogue about platforms is a good opportunity to keep the conversation fun. Talk to your kids about some of your favorite apps and what you like to do online and encourage them to do the same. This is also a great opportunity to touch on things that they might find less fun and open the door for future discussions about uncomfortable situations that could happen.

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4

Check in & keep talking

Apps and games are constantly evolving. If you happen to use some of the same apps, talk about a new feature that you’re excited about or something that is driving you nuts. Keep discussions about platforms as a normalized part of the conversation, so if something comes up they know you already share a baseline.

Additional Resources

From simple tips to complex explorations, we’ve gathered a range of information, videos, and articles designed to help you keep exploring these topics.

Article

Expert Reviews & Advice From Common Sense Media

Source: Common Sense Media

Read age-appropriate app reviews for kids and parents written by Common Sense Media experts.

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Video

Connecting With New Friends Online

Source: NetSmartz

This video is part of a series from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children present digital safety lessons in a fun and age-appropriate manner.

Article

Livestreaming and Online Video Apps

Source: National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

Learn what livestreaming and online video apps are and why young people use them. We’ve got advice to help you understand the challenges and keep your child safe.

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Article

Good Digital Parenting

Source: Family Online Safety Institute

The Family Online Safety Institute's Good Digital Parenting resources provide parents and caregivers with the tools they need to confidently navigate the online world with their families.

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Article

A Parent’s Guide to Snapchat

Source: Snap Inc.

To help you navigate the app, check out some Snapchat fundamentals and download the Parent Guide to Snapchat which will provide you with additional information.

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Article

Facebook Parents Portal

Source: Facebook

Get to know the basics – how to sign up, find friends, post and share – and how Facebook approaches safety, and learn about the tools and resources available to teens, parents and teachers.

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Article

TikTok Guardian’s Guide

Source: TikTok

Parents want to help their teens learn about digital safety so they can manage their online presence, both now and as they grow into adulthood

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Article

Answers to Top Discord Questions

Source: Discord

To help your teen use Discord safely, it’s important to understand how Discord works and how you can best control your teen’s experience on it. Get tips straight from the platform.

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Article

For Parents – Roblox

Source: Roblox

Build safe digital worlds with Roblox. We continually develop cutting-edge technologies to ensure the Roblox platform remains a safe and fun space for players all over the world.

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Article

Online Safety for Children & Families

Source: Google

Children today are growing up with technology, not growing into it like previous generations. So Google is working directly with experts and educators to help you set boundaries and use technology in a way that’s right for your family.

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Article

Tips and tools for your family.

Source: YouTube

Outside of YouTube for Kids, there are resources to help you talk openly with your kid, so you can work with them to make smart decisions online and to develop healthy digital habits.

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Article

Is Your Kid’s Explicit Content Out There?

Source: National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

You can notify the company where images or videos are posted and can make a report to the CyberTipline for help requesting removal of sexually-exploitive images/videos.

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