How to check your child’s Instagram account easily
If you have a child with an Instagram account you will need to keep an eye on their activity. Yes you can follow their feed to see what they post and read the comments, but this doesn’t show you everything. The best way to see what’s going on in their Instagram world is to actually be logged in to their account. This is not always practical to do by checking your child’s phone all the time. Here is a simple way you can check their account/s on your own phone.
Instagram allows you to manage up to 5 accounts on your phone and easily switch from one to another. You will just need to know the email address and password for each account. Be aware that many kids have more than one Insta account – often there are ”Spam” accounts which they like to use to share silly things, leaving the pretty pics on their main account. Many times more activity happens on the ”spam” accounts than their so-called main account. Many kids refer to this second “spam” account as a “finsta”, meaning “fake Insta(gram)”, or “private account” and may have “finsta” or “priv/private” in the username.
How to set up on your phone
If you have your own Instagram account just go to the top left-hand corner and click on the downward arrow as pictured below. If you don’t have your own Instagram account just set this up on your phone as your child’s account.
This will open up the option to ‘Add Account’ as circled below. Simply follow the instructions putting in the email and password to add additional accounts here. Remember you can add up to 5 accounts. You can then simply click on the arrow, and click on each account to switch from one to the other. When you click on your child’s account it is exactly like you are logged into their account from your child’s phone. Be careful not to accidentally ”like” or comment on something as yourself, as it will look like it is being done by your child.
Private vs Public Account
It may also be important to check whether your child has their Instagram account on private mode and not public mode so that not just anyone on the internet can be viewing their pictures. On “private account” mode, people who would like to follow the account have to first request to follow and then be manually accepted by your child. Only accepted followers would be able to view anything your child posts. On public mode, anyone with an Instagram account can view, like and comment on your child’s pictures. You can tell if your child’s account is on private just by looking at their profile on Instagram. Or, if you have access to their account you can check it is on private or change it to private yourself within their Instagram account “Settings”.
Reasons why it’s important to check your child’s account:
- Direct Messages or DM on Instagram is a feature which allows users to send private messages, photos and videos to friends. There is also the ability to send the photos and videos as disappearing ones which makes it difficult for parents to check on what’s being sent. Kids of course love this feature, which is similar to SnapChat. You will only be able to see these if you are logged into their account and check it at random times when they are active. This is where bullying or inappropriate activity could occur so it’s important to keep an eye on this.
- Be aware that Direct Messages can be sent to your child from anyone, even if they do not follow them. Be sure that messages are not coming from strangers.
- Newsfeed and Search feed – check these to see what posts are coming up and to get an idea of what your child is being exposed to. They may be following accounts (including friends) who post inappropriate images and info. You may need to have them unfollow some accounts or hide some posts, clicking on the option to tell Insta that you want to see less of posts like that.
- Some kids may think it’s an invasion of their privacy for parents to be checking their accounts like this. Well as long as they are a child, it’s a parent’s right and responsibility to keep them safe and checking on social media activity is one important way to do this. If they don’t like it, well, it’s too bad really. Having a phone is a privilege and one that can be taken away if not used appropriately or if anything is affecting them negatively.
You can be logged into your child’s account simultaneously on different phones. When checking my child’s Insta on my phone it does not alert her to the fact that I am logged in as well into her account. I can see direct messages coming in at the same time as her as well.
Ways to limit usage
- Limit the amount of phone usage and screen time.
- Some internet modems allow you to set time parameters for family members. For example, we have set ours such that all of the kids’ devices only have internet between 8am to 9.30pm each day. This includes laptop, phone, iPod.
- All devices must be kept out of the bedrooms at bedtime. They are brought into the living room where we can see them at night. By having this automatically set, there are no arguments, it’s the modem, not us, who is switching the internet off.
- Apps like Family Zone can help you with managing your kids’ devices too.
At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.
Image Source: Photos by Play & Go
Want to get all the latest events and activities straight to your inbox?
Subscribe to our weekly email newsletter below to keep up to date with our latest posts and find out all the best events & activities for Adelaide families. Newsletters are only sent once a week, and you may sometimes get a special offer exclusively for our subscribers only!