instagramInstagram has grown in popularity over the last few years among teens. It is a photo sharing application that has over 200 million active monthly users, putting it in the league with Facebook and Twitter when it comes to popularity.

Instagram’s page Tips for Parents contains great information parents should be aware of to guide their children’s use of Instagram.

For many kids, part of the fun of Instagram is developing a big following. If you have a public account on Instagram, that means anyone can follow you. A private account mean you have to approve anyone who wants to follow you. Therefore, you may want to have your kids start using Instagram with a private account.

Another key to safety is to discuss and set boundaries with your children. Although there is nothing inherently dangerous about Instagram, it can be used in inappropriate ways, just like any other form of communication technology. Talk with your children about the possibility of things like mean behavior among peers and inappropriate photos or videos that can hurt a child’s reputation or attract the wrong kind of attention. Teach your children how to manage these risks.

Adapted from “Social media sites offer safety tips for parents.”

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