Tech and Togetherness

How to: Set controls on Social Media

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How to make social networking safer.

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter let teens socialise online. Here’s how to review privacy settings for your peace of mind.


5 simple steps to making Facebook safer.

  1. Ask your teenager to log in using their email address and password. Click the down arrow at the top right corner of their newsfeed page to access ‘Settings’.
  2. Under ‘Settings’(found in the left hand column on a desktop computer), the ‘Privacy’ page lets you control who can see and find your teen’s posts. Select ‘Who Can Contact Me?’ to restrict who can befriend your teen or make friend requests.
  3. Use the ‘Blocking’ setting to block invites, users and app requests. You can also create a ‘restricted’ list. Users you have selected to be on this list will only be able to see a very limited version of your teen’s profile.
  4. ‘Timeline and Tagging’ will help you to control the photos and posts your teen is tagged in. You can manage who can post on their timeline, who can see their timeline and what happens when they are tagged in a post. To check how others see your teen’s timeline, go to their Facebook page and click on the down arrow situated beside the ‘Activity Log’ bar. Click on ‘View As’, type in a name from your teen’s friends list and you’ll see how their profile appears to that specific friend.
  5. The apps setting will let you control what information gets shared through games and apps such as Candy Crush. You can also block invites to download apps or play games from specific users.

Facebook is also available as a mobile app for Android and iOS devices, and the privacy settings are dictated by how you set up your teen’s Facebook account on the computer. If you alter your privacy settings, the change is universal and will affect how people view your teen’s Facebook via the app or on the website.


  1. Your child needs to be 13 years old to have a Facebook account.
  2. Facebook is a public platform. If your teen removes a post or photo they are tagged in from their timeline, it will still be visible elsewhere on the site.
  3. You can use the ‘Report’ button (on the drop down menu to the right of every post) to report offensive content to Facebook.
  4. For more help and information, check out Facebook’s Parents’ Centre.
  5. Privacy rules can change from time to time. Check that your or your child’s settings are up to date here


Ask your teenager to log in, now access ‘Security and Privacy’ settings:

  1. In the Twitter app, tap “Me” in the navigation bar. Now tap the “sprocket” icon next to your profile picture, then select “Settings”. Tap on an Account name to access Privacy and Security settings.
  2. On the Twitter website, click the profile picture on the top-right, then “Settings” in the drop-down menu that appears. Now select “Security and privacy” from the left-hand menu.
  3. For the most secure settings, follow these steps:
    1. Login verification – select ‘Send Login Verifications To My Phone’ and enter your phone number.
    2. Password reset – check this box to ensure additional personal information is required when a password is reset.
    3. Tweet privacy – check this box so that no one can read your teen’s tweets without their prior approval.
    4. Tweet location – leave this box unchecked to prevent location details being included in tweets.
    5. Discoverability – leave both boxes unchecked to prevent people finding details of your teen by email address or phone number.
    6. Promoted content – leave this box unchecked to prevent Twitter using your personal information to tailor adverts.
    7. Reporting abusive Tweets – on the far right of a Tweet select ‘More > Report Tweet’ to report the content to Twitter admin.


YouTube is a fantastic place for young people to exercise their natural curiosity. This video explains why – and how we can protect our young people from inappropriate content.

Go to any YouTube page. Near the foot of the page is a ‘Safety’ button. Click to open the ‘Preferences’ setting. Turn ‘SafetyMode’ ON and click ‘Save’.

You can also apply SafeSearch Filtering in the YouTube App. Tap the Menu icon, then the Sprocket icon to access Settings. Now tap ‘SafeSearch Filtering’ to switch between no filtering and strict filtering.

If you have a YouTube account, you can sign into your account and lock on ‘SafetyMode’ so that no one else can change the settings.


    1. Your child needs to be at least 13 years old to have a YouTube account, but you don’t need to have an account to access most of the videos on the site.
    2. To lock SafetyMode you need to have a Google or YouTube account.
    3. If you or your child come across an inappropriate video, you can report it by clicking the ‘Flag’ button located below the video.

For more information, click here.

Google SafeSearch.

As they get older, your kids will be doing research online to help with homework. Here’s how to keep adult content out of their search results.

  1. Go to Google and type a keyword in to the search box. Click ‘Search’ and the gear icon will appear on the top right-hand corner of the page. Click on the gear icon, then on ‘Search Settings’ from the drop-down menu.
  2. On the ‘Search Settings’ page, tick the ‘Filter explicit results’ box, then click ‘Save’ at the bottom
    of the page. If you don’t have a have a Google account, create one, so you can lock SafeSearch on your family’s computer. Then, once you’ve clicked ‘Lock SafeSearch’, no one except you can change the settings.
  3. When SafeSearch is locked in place, you’ll see a set of coloured balls at the top right-hand corner of all search pages. If you can’t see them, SafeSearch is NOT locked.
  4. If you use more than one browser, you will need to set Google SafeSearch on each one. Likewise, if you have different user profiles for everyone who uses your family computer, you’ll need to set up SafeSearch for each of them.

For more info on Google’s family safety policies and features, click here.

You might also be interested in How To: Set controls on Smart Phones

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