Your parents use social networks

Tips for parents and young people

When using social services, the exchange with others takes place by sending messages, creating short videos or taking pictures. Quite a few young people seem to have no trouble operating the services. But often they cannot assess the consequences that careless and uncritical use can have. The following tips will help you assess the risks.

For adults on the topic of social networks

How do I know a secure network?

Check which ones carefully Information provided by the provider on youth and data protection makes. Internal rules of conduct, which must be approved when registering and Presets to protect minors are references to a reputable operator. In addition, there should be clearly visible ways to protect yourself from unwanted contacts or comments:

  • Integrated reporting system: offensive content is reported to the operator
  • Ignore function: Contacts are denied access to the profile

How can my child protect their privacy?

Go die together with your child Privacy settings by. Make sure that his profile is not public to everyone and that loose acquaintances only have limited viewing rights. Only real friends should be allowed to experience personal things.

What can I do if there are embarrassing photos of my child online?

Everyone has that "Right to your own picture". If your child is seen in embarrassing pictures without their consent, ask the person who hired them to remove them first. If it doesn't, you can Report the image to the network operator and ask him to delete it. As a rule, this happens within a short time.

Responsibility is important: Talk to your child about the fact that the people in them will be around before you upload photos permission asks. This also applies to links to people with a photo, e.g. using automatic face recognition. New photos in the network are searched for "known" faces and linked to them.

  • TIP:
    Most networks offer that a photo is only linked after consent. Make sure that your child has activated this setting and that automatic face recognition is switched off. One is also recommended regular self-search in friends' photo albums.

What should I do if my child is bullied?

Cyber ​​bullying is a serious problem. The apparent anonymity of the network lowers the inhibition threshold: some children and young people see the freedom of the virtual world as a license for attacks, from which those affected sometimes suffer severely.

If you suspect that your child is being offended or harassed, you should intervene as soon as possible - but not without consulting your child. Take advantage of the "Ignore" function and take screenshots of the utterance or picture with your child. Then inform the operator of the page with the Reporting function. This must then delete the corresponding content. He can also ban the harasser from the community. Call in the police in the event of threats of violence or physical assault!

  • TIP:
    Often stuck Disputes at school or a problematic class situation behind such bullying attacks. Talk to your child about it and, if necessary, inform the teachers together if necessary

How do I react to problematic Internet acquaintances?

Beware of false friends: inside! As in the real world, you should also be familiar with the rooms in which your child moves on the Internet. Be open to what it does. Discuss with them who they are in contact with. Make your child aware that healthy distrust makes sense: Chat partners are sometimes not who they say they are. Unfortunately, sexual harassment from chat partners can never be completely ruled out. Particularly when chatting, caution is advised if a network acquaintance makes exaggerated compliments or tries to persuade you to do something. Your child should cut off contact immediately if the questions become uncomfortable or if they feel pressured. More information on this at www.chatten-ohne-

  • TIP:
    Never let your child go to a meeting with an online friend without an adult escort!

How do you advertise in social networks?

Advertising on social networks comes in different forms: Banners, advertisements or cooperation with advertising partners. Website operators can use this to collect and evaluate information - e.g. how often a banner was clicked.

Additional programs - such as games or surveys - are usually provided by third-party providers. If your child uses these applications, these third-party providers can access their profile. It is all the more important to be careful when selecting games and applications and to publish as little data as possible in the profile.

  • TIP:
    Basically, make sure that no personalized advertising is placed in your child's profile: this can be clicked on in the security settings. Avoid using apps that retrieve personal information about your child.

What are the consequences of group membership or the "Like" button?

"I like it!" - Really? Often children in the network reveal a lot of information because they cannot assess the consequences. Membership in groups, for example, is visible to others in your own profile by default. This enables others to gain insight into your child's preferences and interests. This also applies to the “Like” button, which is used to comment on messages or websites. With the “Like” button, data on the preferences of users can be collected not only in your own network, but also in the entire Internet.

Talk to your child about the fact that private things are not revealed to everyone, not even on social networks. Groups it joined for fun can negatively affect its online appearance. Your child should therefore carefully consider which groups they want to join. Some providers also allow group membership to be hidden in the profile.

  • TIP:
    Some network operators offer the “My Page for Others” function, with which you can check your profile from the perspective of another user.

What happens when you synchronize your address book ...?

My friends are your friends too ... With the address book synchronization, all addresses from your personal e-mail account are passed on to the network. To do this, however, the password for the personal e-mail account must be entered. In some networks, the address data is used to recruit friends or acquaintances of your child. Your child should also be careful with the mobile phone synchronization: The address list is transferred from the mobile phone to the network provider. Your child's friends and acquaintances will not be informed about this use of their personal data!

  • TIP:
    Everyone here is responsible for handling the personal data of third parties safely. Ask your child if they would give a friend's name and address to a stranger just like that in real life! When registering, you should pay close attention to which information is really necessary.

Internet-enabled smartphones enable the use of location services (e.g. Facebook's "Places"). The current location is published on the profile with the help of the mobile phone. The application creates a movement profile that other users can access.

  • TIP:
    Does your child really want everyone to be able to see which friend they are with? Or with which friend it was the day before yesterday? The constant findability is a major encroachment not only on privacy, but also on security. Functions such as “Places” on Facebook should at best be visible to good friends.

Membership in a social network can be terminated at any time. The membership should not only be deactivated, but actually canceled: This will delete all published data.

  • TIP:
    Is your child still underage and without your permission If you have become a member of a network, you can report this to the operator. He must remove your child's profile immediately.

Accompany your child in their experiences until they click - also to be able to protect it if necessary. Show interest in the activities and take part in them every now and then. Look for age-appropriate and suitable network offers and then agree with your child where they can become a member. Let them show you their profile and set clear rules for the online times. Also make sure that there is a healthy relationship between “real” friends and online friends that your child does not know personally.

  • TIP:
    Create your own profile in a social network and let your child help you with this. This will help you see how much they know about safety and make it easier for you to talk about potential risks.

At we offer you further information, guidelines on security settings and advisory videos on the safe use of the networks popular in Germany.

  • Number against Kummer e.V.
    The telephone number for children and young people and the parents' telephone number against Kummer e.V. are anonymous and free advice services on all topics and especially on web concerns. There is also em @ il advice on the Internet for children and young people. Young people also advise on Saturdays.
  • At or you can report illegal, youth-endangering or development-impairing content and find out more about the protection of minors on the Internet.
  • Social network provider:
    With some providers, the youth protection officers are available to answer your questions by phone or e-mail or offer you information on data protection on the portal. You can usually find this information in the lower part of the start page.

For young people on the topic of social networks

Tips from
Before registering, find out about security functions, the possibility of complaints and costs.

When registering, only state the bare essentials. If possible, only make the profile accessible to friends and not reveal too much in it. It is better not to be recognizable in photos (e.g. with sunglasses).

You never know who is really behind an Internet acquaintance - profile photos can be stolen. Do not accept strangers as friends. Don't click on unfamiliar links.

Never meet friends from the Internet alone! It is best to take parents or trusted third parties with you and choose a public place.

In the case of strange or unpleasant messages and contributions: cancel contact, take screenshots or photos, report content and users and talk to the parents!

Do not participate in gossip. Ask others to stop the insults or inform the operators.

Don't post or send disgusting things. Do not upload other people's pictures without asking them first. Images of stars are also mostly protected by copyright.