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Keeping Safe on Social Media

For Marines and families who frequently move across the country or across the globe, social media sites and apps are great ways to stay connected and share information with family and friends. 

Nowadays, when we are all so very busy, it provides an easy way to share our day-to-day activities. 

We can interact with new people who have similar interests, get involved with our community, or get support when feeling sad or anxious

Our kids can learn about their new surroundings and make friends even before the moving trucks take off! Sounds great, right?  

What Are the Downsides of Social Media?  

Though technology and cyberspace offer lots of advantages, there are also downsides.  

Here are some helpful tips to set a good foundation for online safety.    

Privacy & Safety  

Understanding privacy settings and how to manage them is essential. Check the settings on your accounts to make sure your private information is hidden from public view. 

Advise your children to make posts visible only to friends rather than making them public. X (formally known as Twitter), Instagram, TikTok, etc.  also have safety and security controls.    

What Can Parents Do?  

Talk to your children about online safety early and often. Teens may consider this snooping, but having a conversation about the online rules and reasons for the rules can build trust.  

Of course, don’t be afraid to set up consequences for breaking these rules. Ask for input from your children on what consequences may look like.

The key is to be consistent and stay involved in a way that makes them understand that you respect their privacy but want to make sure they're safe.  

Sharing Posts and Images    

It’s said that parents post more than 1,000 pictures of their kids on social media before they are old enough to have their own accounts. It can be easy for someone with foul intentions to piece together a picture from all of your posts and images to figure out where you are located. 

Consider or think about the picture of your daughter’s soccer game with the sign of a park in the background and the name of their school team on their jersey. A post about the company holiday party, Marine Corps Ball, or that local 5k walk you participated in all add to the pieces of a puzzle that someone could use.   

Children may not realize the long-term consequences of what they choose to post online. Speak to them about sharing personal information, what they say, and which pictures they post. 

Explain to them that even though they have the option to delete what they post, everything put online should be considered permanent. People can screenshot, download, and share almost immediately. These posts can follow them for a long time. It’s a good idea to monitor what they share online.  


According to a Pew Research study, nearly 60 percent of teenagers have encountered cyberbullies or harassment online. Kids can no longer leave the bullying at school. These school or community gossip posts follow them 24/7 online. 

It’s important to teach them how to counteract cyberbullying. Help them to feel safe and empowered when they share their concerns, so you can help them report cyberbullies right away. Encourage them to treat others with kindness to set a good example for peers. 

Too Much of a Good Thing 

Social media is fundamentally designed to keep kids scrolling. By exploiting children's vulnerabilities and social curiosities, platforms can hook users from a young age and keep them firmly engaged.   

To prevent addiction to social media, set limits for devices and online time. Encourage kids to go outside and play. Have a family device plug in station to limit access and use during bedtime hours. Also, set a good example by limiting your online and nighttime use.    

Have concerns or more questions? Contact the installation’s Community Counseling Center or Military d Family Life Counselors.   

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