The beloved photo-sharing social network our children love so much could be their first exposure to pornography.
These aren’t methods promoted by Instagram, but kids are so tech-stealthy these days, they find ways around things.
SEARCH: TOP PEOPLE TAGS PLACES
The SEARCH feature is what turns your child’s small circle of peer influence into an enormous global range of impact. No longer are they only connected with their friends from school.
Searching under TOP allows them to see what all the top Instagramers are posting. Neither filters nor restrictions on the phone will prevent explicit pictures here – of which, there are plenty! The worst part is, this TOP feed never ends. They could look at TOP photos/videos for days.
Or they can stalk specific PEOPLE. Want to look up a porn star? celebrity? hot girl from school? They can stalk anyone and view their pictures/posts without them knowing.
And then, there are TAGS. This allows you to search for content based on its #hashtag. Here is an example of what turns up when you search PORN.
Again, the content is endless. Your child can view for days and still find new content.
Searching PLACES allows them to type in a location and find the top posts from there. This search tends to be slightly more benign. Based on the time of day you search, however, the results will vary significantly. For example, moms and babies in the morning and half-naked selfies at night.
Accessing the internet inside the Instagram app is, frustratingly, easier than you think.
Search for Google or any other company that posts a link to their website. Tap the link and viola! You are at google.com
Any search or site viewing from here will not appear in web history. Similarly, any third party monitoring used will only see this activity as Instagram – instead of pornhub.
1] Don’t allow Instagram.
At least until they are 16. This app is the worst for mental health according to a recent study. Most young teenagers don’t have enough self-control to stop scrolling, stop comparing, and stop searching.
2] Disable the web browser.
With disappointment, we must report that Apple restrictions do not prevent the LINKS out to Safari inside of the Instagram app. Even if you have Safari disabled in the Parental Restrictions, the profile LINKS will still access the internet. The only way to prevent this back-door internet on an iPhone is by deleting the Instagram app.
We are thrilled, however, to report that Norton App Lock on an Android phone does prevent these links. Typically Android devices are more difficult to lock down. In this case, the back door LINKS were blocked when the browser was turned off using Norton App Lock.
3] Talk about pornography with your children.
Help them understand why their natural curiosity is normal but there is nothing normal about pornography. Answer their questions with age-appropriate truth – don’t sugar coat it or dilute it. You must be their source of information to all things sex – not the internet or their friends.