How to Protect Kids on Reddit?
It is surprising for many people that Reddit, the popular messaging board, has been around for 15 years. As of 2020, Reddit is the sixth most popular site, following juggernauts like Google, Amazon, YouTube, Yahoo, and Facebook.
It is no wonder why Reddit is so popular, it being "the front page of the internet" and featuring tips, news from around the world, message boards, subreddits, and other features that allow users to get access to endless information.
While Reddit is a great site for interesting and entertaining information (yes, those Reddit memes are hilarious), it does not require users to confirm their age, meaning your children have access to everything on the site, and we mean everything.
Aside from getting information and passing the time, there are people who use Reddit for other purposes than those it is intended for; cyberbullying, adult content, explicit comments, and unwanted communication with potentially harmful individuals are just some of the things that your child is exposed to when using Reddit. To prevent your kids from unwanted content on Reddit, here are the safety tips that every parent should know.
Reddit Safety Tips for Kids and Teenagers
Open an account for your child
If your child wants to open a Reddit account, do it for him/her with your email address or an address intended especially for the website. By creating an account for your child and having access to correspondence via the email address, you will be able to keep tabs on what your child is up to on Reddit and know what people are writing/telling your child.
Secure your child's Reddit account
If you have a teenager, he/she will not necessarily give your control over their account with your personal email. In that case and in the case of younger children as well, you can secure your child's account on Reddit by following these steps:
- Click on the account in the top-right corner of the Reddit screen
- Click on "User Settings" once the dropdown menu appear
- Click on "Profile"
- Scroll down to the "Advanced Section", uncheck "Content Visibility", and Active in communities visibility. This will keep your child anonymous online. Scroll down and click on "Save"
- Scroll up to the menu and select "Privacy & Security"
- In "User Privacy", uncheck "Search engine indexing", which will prevent search engines from displaying your child's Reddit profile in search results.
- Scroll down to the "Messaging Privacy section". Open the dropdown menu next to "Who can message you". Change the setting from Everyone to Whitelisted. The Whitelist will help you decide who can message your child through their account.
- Scroll up and click on "Feed Settings"
- At the top of the list, you will see a Content Preferences setting. Verify that Adult Content in the account is disabled. Click "Save" at the bottom of your screen.
Encourage your child to come forward with Reddit problems
If you decide to let your child use Reddit freely, make sure he/she knows that it has one very important string attached; they must come to you with any problem they are facing on the website; if someone is bullying your child, sending them inappropriate photos or messages, your child needs to know that he can come to you. Tell them that you will not be angry, no matter what happens, and that you only want to protect them from potentially harmful people.
Block users and report harmful messages
If someone is bullying your child or sending him unwanted content, you can block them from the chat. Blocked users will not be able to message your child anymore, and your child will no longer be "matched" with them in future chats. If someone crosses the line, you can also report their offensive posts: simply click on the “...” at the bottom of the post. Then, click 'Report" on the dropdown menu that will appear.
Choose the reason for the report and select the reason for your report. You can also report offensive comments immediately by clicking on the "Report" button located just below comments.
Reddit started out as a neutral and fun-oriented website where users could communicate with one another and share whatever is on their mind. Unfortunately, some people choose to take advantage of such sites and turn them into something unpleasant. Until your children learn to fend for themselves, you as a parent can protect them from the risks of Reddit with a few simple steps, and be certain that they are safe both mentally and physically.