Today’s kids spend many hours on social media platforms, communicating and interacting with others. In addition to worrying about the time their kids spend on social media, parents are also concerned about the content they watch.
Instagram is a popular social media platform among kids because it is a very easy-to-use, free smartphone app that allows users to share photos and videos with filters, hashtags, and locations and even earn income by advertising (if they have a big following).
Statistics show that Instagram had about 1.28 billion active users in 2022! Instagram has its own messaging feature called direct messages. Cyberbullies and online predators often contact children in their DMs.
That is why it is important to at least have an idea about with whom your kids are talking to on social media.
So, parents can see these Instagram messages by:
- Simply asking children to show their DMs;
- Using a monitoring app or software;
- Logging into your children’s account;
Instagram’s Direct Messages (DMs)
DMs are private messages between two or more users on Instagram. DMs allow users to share their pictures and videos, chat, and share posts. The thing is, our kids can send and receive DMs from anyone, no matter if they follow or are followed by that user.
It is hard for parents to safely introduce their children to this massive Instagram community because of the risks that children can face while using the app. In the following part of this article, we’ll quickly go over some of the dangers children can face while using Instagram.
Risks associated with DMs
Although the purpose of DMs is for interacting and sharing experiences, some ‘villains’ (and that’s an understatement) exist with the need to satisfy their mean intention and harm others.
Some users create fake Instagram accounts called ‘Finstas’ to hurt and harm other users without revealing their identity.
Online predators have easy access to our kids’ profiles and often attack. Statistics show that about 500.000 online predators are on the Internet every day, and a lot of them use Instagram too!
Instagram has little control or restriction over inappropriate content, and kids can be exposed to dangerous, aggressive, violent, and explicit content.
Ways to Access Your Child’s Instagram Messages
Parents must be aware that Instagram can be dangerous for their children. In the following paragraphs, we’ll look at 3 methods for you to access your child’s Instagram messages.
Method 1: Ask your child to show you their DMs
Strong communication and trust between you and your child can provide you with access to your child’s Instagram messages. You can establish this as a daily routine (although children might not want to).
Method 2: Use a monitoring app or software
Apps like mSpy, FamiSafe, Panda Dome Family, and others offer parents access to their child’s Instagram messages. You just install the app on your and your children’s phones, it’s that easy (but most parental control apps require payment).
Method 3: Log in to your child’s Instagram account
Make sure to know your children’s password when they create an Instagram account (no matter how stalky that is). This is important because later on, you can use that password to log into your children’s Instagram accounts and see their DMs.