A parent’s guide to Instagram

Learn more about Instagram and how you can help keep young people safe as they share their life in pictures.

Although young people are often digitally savvy, they’re still developing. They may need your guidance on appropriate online behaviours and how to navigate challenges. Netsafe’s research shows that when young people do reach out for help, parents are still a place that many turn to for support. As a parent, you don’t need to be an expert in technology, but being familiar with the technology that young people are using and the challenges that they may experience is a great start. Netsafe’s guide will give you that insight and prepare you to give your kids the guidance when they need it.

ACCOUNT PRIVACY
The first choice you can make with your child is whether their account is public or private. If your child’s account is private, they can approve the people who follow them and can remove followers at any time. Having a private account means your child’s content can’t be seen by anyone they haven’t approved. If your child is public, anyone can see what they post on Stories, Feed, or Live, and can follow them without needing approval. If your child already has a public account, they can switch to private at any time.

BLOCK UNWANTED INTERACTIONS
Your child can block accounts they don’t want to interact with. This will stop the blocked user from seeing and commenting on their posts, stories, and Live broadcasts. When you block an account, that person is not notified.

If they change their mind, your child can unblock an account at any time.

FILTER COMMENTS
Instagram has controls that help you manage the content you see and determine when comments are offensive or intended to bully or harass. They’ve built filters that automatically remove objectional words and phrases and bullying comments.

MANAGE TIME
When it comes to spending time on Instagram, there is no right or wrong answer when determining how much scrolling is too much. There are a number of tools to help you and your family understand and take control of the time your child is spending on the app. You can work together to decide what the right balance is for your family.

MUTE NOTIFICATIONS
Your child can use the “Mute Push Notifications” feature to silence Instagram notifications for a period of time. When the set time is up, notifications will return to their normal settings without having to reset them.

These are just some of the tools you can share with your child that will give them more control over their digital identity and footprint.

netsafe.org.nz/instagram-guide