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Is Your Child Ready for Instagram? You Might Want to Read This First

January 3, 2013 at 5:30 PM

instagramMany parents who took precautions to make sure that their children under 13 didn’t have a Facebook account failed to realize that Instagram was also a social networking site.  At first, Instagram just seemed like a photo-sharing app and some parents were even excited that their kids were taking an interest in photography.  Soon, they realized that, just like Facebook, Instagram gives you the ability to post comments on photos.  And that was where the downward spiral began, with kids posting nasty comments about each other and feeling left out when others posted photos of themselves doing things together.

But this wasn’t all.  Like Facebook, Instagram is full of unsavory individuals trying to contact others without knowing them.  There have been instances reported of kids being contacted by pedophiles trying to get their hands on photos of young girls.  They mask themselves as some type of legitimate business like a radio station running a contest, knowing that this is sure to lure young people.

Yet another disadvantage, which has recently come to light, is that Instagram’s revised policy states that it retains all the rights to photos posted through it.  So, for example, if your child is posting photos of himself or herself, Instagram can sell that photo without asking permission from the child or the parents.  It has no obligation to even pay the person who took the photograph.  In other words, once a photo is posted on Instagram, it belongs to them!

Of course, it’s unlikely that such a thing will actually happen to your child.  Instagram is likely to take photos only from celebrities, not regular people.  But the possibility remains and makes it really important for parents to talk to their children about the repercussions.  Right now, your child may be happy about the idea, wanting his/her photo posted in an advertisement and the kind of celebrity this immediately brings.  But ask yourself, “is my child ready for Instagram?” 

The answer might very well be 'no', but if you do believe that your child is old enough for an Instagram account make sure you are doing eveything you can to protect his or her reputation and well-being.  Currently uKnowKids is the only Parental Intelligence System that is able to integrate Instagram safety into its social network monitoring. So if you want to let your child have the freedom of an Instagram account but are still worried about the dangers of this app, uKnowKids can provide you with peace of mind.

                      want to see what your teen is sharing online?                

Tim Woda

Posted by Tim Woda

Tim Woda is an Internet safety expert, and a passionate advocate for empowering families and protecting children from today’s scariest digital dangers. Woda was on the founding team of buySAFE, an Internet trust and safety company, and he started working on child safety issues after his son was targeted by a child predator online. While his son was unharmed, the incident led Woda to kick-start uKnow.com. You can follow Tim on Twitter or on his blog.

Topics: digital parenting, social media, Parental Intelligence, instagram, Digital Parenting Tips, dangers & safety

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