A recent study showed that more than half of children use social media by the age of 10.
COPPA, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, prohibits companies from collecting personal information from children under the age of 13, and then sharing this information with third parties. This is why most websites don’t allow children under the age of 13 to sign up. Unfortunately, many parents and children ignore these rules. The study showed that over 50% of 8-16 year-olds ignored Facebook’s age limit restrictions to sign up, and of those, nearly 75% said they had help from their parents to set up the account. Only a third of parents surveyed said that they felt “very confident” about keeping their children safe online.
Are you unsure at what age it’s appropriate for your child to sign up for a social media account? We like this Nick Bilton blog post in the New York Times Letting Your Kids Play in the Social Media Sandbox which provides some helpful information about which sites you can be comfortable with, which sites you may want to avoid altogether, and some extra steps that you can take to help keep your children safe online.