Here are a few tips to get you started:

Establish an open line of communication – instead of hashing your rules, allow for an open communication line with the person or youth your are reprimanding . This will encourage him or her  to be open about his or her  social life both in real life and online and that is key to understanding the social media persona. It would be better if you can be physically present to be able to develop a more personal level of trust,i highly recommend one or more witness who can support claims. If you can’t be always present, make sure you routinely check on  them and listen to what him or her  isn’t saying.

Try the app yourself –  Get to understand the  ins and outs of the app your are currently using and are want to understand, a quick google search will help solve a lot of the disconnects.

Encourage him/her to keep personal information private –  The purpose of social media is to share and connect, but we must understand that something shouldn’t be posted and be a danger to him or her  who decides to be to public as such, for example posting location tags and specific land markers near homes or personal information such as ID or Addresses.

Prompt your teen to carefully select his connections – People of all ages naturally want to have as many “friends” on his or her  network. But educate him or her on the dangers on befriending complete strangers and what is now the social norm , including other students from his or her  school or place of work . Online predators are online waiting for unexpected  users to sip up. Before you  accept  friend requests, ask yourself  and  thoroughly review the sender’s profile with you.

Teach your teen to “draw the line” – Users of social media  need to understand there is a fine line between, joking,bullying and harassment and the courts do not hold up lightly if the matter is serious or leads to suicide by a teenager or deadly shooting,

Remind them to be kind – What is said and done online is automatic reflect of who you are indirectly to someone who hasn’t met you yet. They will show the world who they are.  Remind them social media is timeline and logged data that can and will be used against them from business to personal and can be used to evaluate certain situations if they arise.

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