We’ll admit it: ‘safety and privacy settings’ isn’t the most exciting of topics. But this doesn’t change the fact they’re important, especially if you have tech-savvy kids. Here’s how you can adjust these settings to help keep them safe on their favourite social media channels.


Instagram (16+)

Adjusting privacy settings
To set Instagram posts to private, your child should go to their profile by tapping the person icon. Then, tap the three lines icon in the top-right corner and then the gear icon, and turn on the Private Account setting.

Blocking other users
Block and remove followers by going to the profile of the user in question, then tapping the three dots icon in the top-right corner and selecting Block.

You can find out more about Instagram’s safety and privacy settings here

Snapchat (13+)

Adjusting privacy settings
Snapchat has various privacy settings. To change these, tap the gear icon in the top right of the Profile screen to access Settings.

1. Scroll down to the Who Can… section and tap an option.

2. To change Who Can Send Me Snaps within Settings, tap Contact Me under the Who Can… section and choose from Everyone or My Friends.

3. To change Who Can View My Story within Settings, tap View My Story and select either Everyone, My Friends or Custom. Any changes will be saved when you press the back button.

4. Snap Maps allows Snapchat friends to see where your child is. You can keep geo-location private by disabling location for Snapchat in the device settings or switching on ‘ghost mode’ in the Snapchat app. You can do this by pinching the screen to bring up Snap Map and clicking the gear icon in the top right corner and then either toggle Ghost Mode or choose who can see your location.

Blocking other users
Go to My Friends, tap on the name of the person you want to block, then the Settings option, which brings up a list of things you can do. Either click Block or Remove Friend.

You can find out more about Snapchat’s safety and privacy settings online here

Twitter (13+)

Adjusting privacy settings
Your kids can choose to protect their tweets, so they are only visible to the Twitter followers they have approved. 

On the Web, select the small profile pic in the top-right corner, and then choose Settings and privacy from the drop-down menu. 

From here, select the Privacy and safety option from the left-hand menu, and then tick the box next to Protect your Tweets. Then, scroll down and click the Save changes button. On a smartphone, tap the small profile pic in the top-left corner and select Settings and privacy, then select the Privacy and safety option. Tick the box (Android) or tap the button until it turns green (iPhone) next to Protect your Tweets, and then go back. Your new settings will be saved. 

For iOS devices, go to Protect my tweets and drag the slider to turn On. For Android devices, go to Other and tick the Tweet privacy box.

To block someone on the website and mobile, click on their tweet, select the three dots icon, then click Block. You can also Report a user or comment with this method.

You can find out more about Twitter’s safety and privacy settings here

Facebook (13+)

Adjusting privacy settings
On the desktop version, click on the drop-down menu in the top-right corner of the screen and access Settings. Then click on the privacy tab and adjust privacy settings to your preference. 

On the mobile app you can access the privacy settings by opening the three-line menu in the top-right corner of the screen. Then open the Settings and Privacy tab and then click the Privacy Shortcuts options.

Blocking other users
On the desktop version, you can block users by clicking on the drop-down menu in the top-right corner of the screen and then going into Settings. Then, click on the Block tab marked with a red sign with a white line through it. You can then type in either the name or email address of the person you want to block.

In the app, you can click the three-line menu in the top-right corner of the screen and open the Settings & Privacy tab. Then click Settings followed by Blocking under the Privacy section. You can then choose the user you want to block.

Reporting abusive or offensive content 
If you come across an inappropriate post online you want to report, click on the three-dot menu in the top-right corner of the post and select Give feedback on this post. You can then choose to flag inappropriate content.

You can find out more about Facebook’s safety and privacy settings here

TikTok (13+)

Adjusting privacy settings

TikTok features a number of privacy and safety settings to restrict who can contact and comment on your children’s posts and profile. It also features a Digital Wellbeing feature to restrict inappropriate content and help them manage how long they spend on the app.

Reporting abusive or offensive content 

If a user is displaying abusive behaviour, posting insulting or racist videos or comments, or violating any of the Community Guidelines put in place by the app, you can report them by going to the profile on the user you wish to report and clicking on the three-dot menu and the on-screen instructions will prompt you to describe what the problem is. The process is anonymous.

Twitch (13+)

Adjusting privacy settings

Twitch lets you control whether you share your activity online under settings, account, and then presence. Group chat allows users to invite other users to their private chat rooms. In order to not receive these invitations enable this setting and Twitch will not allow users to invite you to their private chat unless you are following them. You may opt to block incoming gift subscriptions to channels that you do not follow. You can opt out of showing the total number of Gift Subscriptions you have given in a channel. The Twitch Consent Management Tool helps manage and control your consent.

Reporting abusive or offensive content 

If you come across a broadcaster or user on Twitch whom you feel has violated Twitch's Terms of Service (ToS) or Community Guidelines (CG), you have the ability to send a report to its Moderation team for review.


This article was originally written in partnership with Parent Zone