Best ways to track your kids' social media use

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by JENNI HOGAN / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on February 21, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 21 at 8:29 PM

Most every parent faces this question at some point, "Can I get on Facebook?"

So once your child gets on social media, how do you monitor what they are doing?

John Webster watches his kids' activity carefully, "You get on the computer, pull up their Facebook. I grab her and my son, I look through their text messages. When you have 300 it takes awhile."

14-year-old Rhiannon Stark pays attention to what her dad says, "If someone posts on my wall he says 'stay away from my daugher' I'm like, seriously, it's true, it's true."

If you don't want to spend the time monitoring every post there are apps and software that can do it for you.

NetNanny is downloadable software. It monitors social media sites, can block chats and filter content. It costs $40 a year.

There are also apps that can help like 'Mama Bear.' It lets parents monitor social sites, see when their child is tagged in a photo, and learn when their kids make new online friends.It's free.

A similar app, My Mobile Watchdog, can monitor text and picture messages and block websites. It's $4.95 per month.

Many parents say they start with strict rules before turning to products to help.

Webster restricts his children's use to certain hours, "It hits 9 p.m. and there are no phone calls, no texting, you don't need anything electronic."

Other good rules:

  • Know your kids' passwords
  • Check and approve who your children are 'friending'
  • Take away computers and phones overnight
  • Do social media as a family

How do you monitor your childrens' social media activity? Let us know on our Facebook page.

(You can connect with Jenni Hogan on Facebook and Twitter @)

 

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