Saturday, September 7, 2013

Instagram & our kids

Life is busy for all of us  in this day & time.
Technology brings new problems
But, we all need to slow down a little bit and look around us, look at our kids.
See what they are REALLY doing.

I'm talking social Media apps here.....
If they have an Instagram account, you the parent, need to follow them.
And not only follow them, but actually get on Instagram & check what they are posting.
I personally recommend their account is PRIVATE.  That way no Joe Schmoe can follow them and see their pictures, no matter how innocent the pictures are.

I just found out that even though their account is private and you can't see their pictures, ANYONE can still see their profile picture and whatever words they have posted under their profile.  So if they have their picture and what school they go to, easy for the 'Bad Ones' to possibly find them.  
Nothing in their profile should say what school they go to.
My daughter always says to me "Why is is the bad people ruin everything for us?"

You should look at their account on their device and see who is following them and who they follow every now and then.
See what their friends are posting.

Follow as many of their friends as you can so that you can easily see what they are posting.
And if you don't like what you see, have them unfollow or block that person.

Same goes for Facebook, although neither of my older daughters have a facebook account yet.

Raise your hand if you are guilty of NOT DOING some or all of those things mentioned above..... too.  But I feel like I get a B+, or maybe even an A-
I do have my girls' accounts set to Private
I do follow them and see what they are posting EVERY day
I follow some of their friends.
Their profiles are innocent
But, what I haven't been doing is checking to see exactly WHO they were FOLLOWING and WHO were following them.

And boy were my eyes opened.

My oldest daughter had about 182 followers and close to that same # for who she followed.  
I knew there was no way she knew them all.
And she didn't.
We went through EVERY one of them and if she didn't personally know them we unfollowed or blocked them from following her.
At some point she had changed her PRIVATE account to PUBLIC.  Therefore there were strangers who were following her.
I did discover that weeks ago and had her change it back to PRIVATE then.  
Let's just say that won't be happening again.

So there is one scary thing I discovered during this process.
When you click on her profile, and you click the 'map' button, you can see exactly where they live IF they don't have all the settings set correctly on their device.

(that third little icon mid-way through the screen that looks like a ballon is the map button)
Click on it and see what happens.

I said a very bad word when I clicked on my daughter's photo map button and next to her picture was our whole community, zoom further our neighborhood, zoom further and there is our street name.
(I have blurred out all the actual info and added in text)

Holy you know what!!  Our address was RIGHT THERE.
So, I have been on a rampage to figure this out and get that taken care of.  Especially since there were strangers following her (which there aren't any more)

So, you need to go to Settings and turn off location services for Instagram (and almost all other apps, in my opinion)
I did keep it on for 'Find My Phone' and Maps type apps

Go to Settings>>Privacy>>Location Services

 Go through each app that is listed and turn it off.
PARENTS need to do this too on their own devices, so that when they take pictures and post them later, it doesn't show where their kids are or what school they go to.

I did this on my iPHONE and it worked fine for ME.
I have done it on both my daughter's iPOD touch's and when I click the map button, it is still there where I can still see the address.
I have googled and googled, so any advice would be great.
Now Instagram TELLS me it is private, but from what I can see, it ISN'T

I also have always had the Restrictions turned ON on their iPOD touch, ever since they got one - they can't buy any app without me entering MY code.
Is it a pain in the butt sometimes?
Yes it is - but totally worth it.
They can, however get any free apps without permission.

Like snap chat.  Don't let your kids get snapchat. End of story there, but from what i have read, JUST.DONT.LET.THEM!!!   OK friend?

Lastly, I will tell you this tidbit of information that I just found out:
Apparently it is a thing with the kids to get the most amount of #'s of people to follow them or like their pictures.
They will do anything to get 100's OR 1000's of followers.
They create MULTIPLE instagram accounts
They post under their own account via the other account to themselves to make it look like more, and then more people will comment.
Some of them post pictures with the F word
Some post naked pictures
There were more things I cared to see and WAAAY more than I cared for my daughter to see.
When I showed her a picture that was imbedded somewhere deep down within her network of a young girl completely topless and naked----she was shocked.
I didn't want to show her this, but I had to make her understand, this is what is out there.
And if we aren't careful, this is what they will see on their own. 
I gave her all of half a second to look at this picture.
Problem with this is, there are TONS of strangers, hundreds of strangers looking at what your child posts if they are one that has TONS of followers and aren't PRIVATE.  There is some type of spam involved, although I can't quite figure out what it all means, but I know this is something our children shouldn't be doing.

Let's get our kids back on the road to purity!!

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