Your ultimate goal is to raise an individual who can manage their online and offline behavior in a healthy way because they want to.

  1. Key advice from colleagues, parents and tech gurus
  2. Basic age requirements for certain apps
  3. The apps that no under age child should have
  4. Apps to monitor what your child is doing on their device
  5. How to set your home Internet to block specific devices at set times
  6. WhatsApp: How to use protection features
  7. Snapchat: How to use protection features
  8. Instagram: How to use protection features
  9. Facebook: How to use protection features
  10. iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch: How to use parental controls
  11. Advice from a South African Legal Social Media guru
  12. Acronyms used on social media to talk about parents
  13. Websites I used

contact details:

Judi Francisco,

Cape Town

  1. Advice from colleagues, parents and tech gurus:
  • Talk. Talk to your child about their digital needs, safety and responsibilities.
  • The child’s phone is not private. It should belong to the parent.
  • Lay down your rules right from the beginning. Establishing the rules even when your child is “good” prevents issues later.
  • Sign a contract with your child. Do this right at the beginning.
  • Be transparent with your child if you will be tracking/monitoring them.
  • Be open with your child if you will be looking at their phone content without any warning.
  • Work out the consequences of misuse WITH your child.
  • When you find inappropriate apps/content on your child’s device, don’t delete them. Rather be very clear in explaining to your child why you need to uninstall them immediately.
  • All passwords HAVE to be given to the parents. Failure to do so will mean consequences.
  • Do NOT let your child have their phone after a set time in the evening. Keep it with you because some will go find it when you are asleep. When their friends come around, you can suggest that in your house all phones are handed in e.g. a bowl on the dining room table.
  • Do a search of yourself, your child on google, google images using the incognito/private tab.
  • Most Universities and employers now do a social media search before they even short list them.
  • Sexting and Cyberbullying can occur anywhere, anytime on any app.
  1. Basic Age Requirements:
Facebook WhatsApp Instagram Snapchat
Age 13 16 13 13 13


  1. The apps that no under age child should have:
  • fm: popular place for cyberbullying, mean questions about a person’s weight, height, and physical appearance; nasty comments inciting users to hurt themselves and wishing they were dead. This app allows users to ask a specific person anonymous questions. Users can answer these questions and posts them on their personal page, truly leaving nothing to the imagination. is one of the most popular social networking sites that almost all kids use exclusively.
  • Kik Messenger: An instant messaging app to exchange videos, pics and sketches. These apps require no phone number so there is no log history that is available. It you tend to monitor your child’s texting whether it be certain numbers or hours of usage, it can easily be bypassed by these apps. There is also no verification process or parental controls which make it easy for predators to contact minors.
  • Whisper: Whisper is an anonymous confession app. It allows users to superimpose text over a picture to share their thoughts and feelings anonymously. Due to the anonymity, kids are posting pics of other kids with derogatory text superimposed on the image. It is rife with cyberbullying and sexual predators also use the app to locate kids and establish a relationship.
  • Omegle: Anonymous chat app that can also be linked to your Facebook account. There is a high risk of sexual predators using this app. They use this app to find kids and collect personal information to track them down more easily in person. Experts say these predators blackmail young children, by starting inappropriate conversations with them, then threatening to send the messages, photos, or videos to their parents if they tell anybody, therefore trapping the child in a dangerous situation.
  1. apps to Monitor what your child is doing on device: 

Our Pact:

OurPact lets you block internet and apps across any network, inside and outside of the home. It gives parental controls on both iOS or Android. OurPact is used by families in South Africa and worldwide. It was the most suggested app on the Village Facebook Page for Parents. OurPact requires two components: a parent app (OurPact), and a child app (OurPact Jr). After signing up for an account in Our Pact’s iOS, Android or Web parent app, you are guided through the installation. Once this setup is complete, parents can manage device access from anywhere and at any time. It can do multiple children with multiple settings.

Price:  $6.99/month for premium


TeenSafe is a subscription service for parents of children between the ages of 7-17 that provides smartphone monitoring and control capabilities. You log in and then monitor your teen’s smartphone data and interactions securely on a dashboard. Only you can access your child’s data with your TeenSafe login. ($14.95/month) Price:  $9.95/month

LoveLife 360:

Life360 runs on your mobile device to allow you to view your family members on a map, communicate with them, and receive alerts when your loved ones arrive at home, school or work. Location sharing is specific to each Circle, and you can turn it off and on whenever you want. But they always let the Circle know – just so others can make sure your family is still safe. Price:  Free


Spyzie helps you remotely track and monitor all activities on a cell phone. It works with all devices including Android and iOS. It has features like tracking whatsapp, SMS, call logs and location tracking. It has endorsements from Forbes, Huffington Post, CNN, Fox News and Daily Mail Price : $89/year


PhoneSheriff can help you with tracking and protecting your child’s online presence. It is easy to install and creates a secure account for you where you can watch what your kid has been doing on the internet. PhoneSheriff was the Gold Award winner of 2015 due to its excellent customer feedback. Price : $49 for 6 months and $89 for a year

Kids Place:

Kids Place is a free app that basically makes the smartphone childproof. Using this parental control app, you can lock the home screen and call buttons.

Price : Free


Qustodio is an impressive parental control software, which includes almost all the features that you would want to monitor your children’s movement on their smartphones. It supports and is completely compatible with both iPhones and Android devices. It was the new Editors Choice for Parental Control.

Price : $52.95 for premium

  1. How to Set your home Internet to block specific devices at set times or change your wi-fi password: 

Routers give you the ability to block Internet use from your home Wi-Fi network on set schedules. Eg. Block all Internet access from children’s devices after 10 p.m. on school nights.

However, each router is different, so it is not possible to give a perfect step by step guide. You can contact the company that installed your router to ask for the router IP address, username and password.

To log onto your router:

  • Use a computer to log-on onto your Wi-Fi router
  • Open your internet browser e.g. google. Explorer, safari
  • Type in the router IP address into the address bar, then press Enter. Don’t add www or http:// before the IP address. e.g. (Often you’ll find the Wi-Fi information on a label on the router)
  • If you can’t figure out your router’s address then: follow these instructions on

To change settings or add restrictions of your Wi-Fi  :

  • You use your computer to log onto your Wi-Fi router on your computer
  • Identify the MAC address of the devices you want to limit.

(Do this while they are connected to Wi-Fi) On Android devices find the MAC address by:

○ Settings

○ About device

○ Status

○ Wifi MAC address

On Apple devices find the MAC address by:

○ General

○ About

○ Wi-Fi Address

  • Next find the “Access Restrictions” or Filter menu (or something similar)
  • Create policies (groups) for those devices and customize specific rules for Internet access for them.
  • Name the policy
  • Enable the policy
  • Edit the list of devices. On the list, you can type in the MAC addresses you’ve recorded.
  • Save
  • Apply
  1. WhatsApp: how to use protection features

WhatsApp is free and popular with under 25’s. You must be 16 years or older to use, however younger kids use it. Posts are not monitored so open to cyberbullying, threats, rumours and inappropriate content. It is in the top three of most downloaded social apps.

  • WhatsApp has no moderation on adult content.
  • WhatsApp is often where an online predator moves the conversation to, after connecting with them on “safe” platforms like Facebook.

What are the protection features for your child?

  • Profile: The default setting allows any WhatsApp user to see your teen’s profile photo and status, as well as his or her last read and last seen messages, but this can be changed. To change your status privacy:
    1. Tap the Menu Button (normally 3 little dots)
    2. Go to Settings – Tap on Account
    3. Tap on Privacy
    4. Select My contacts for who can see your photo and personal settings Status:
    5. Go to the Status (in line with Chat and Calls)
    6. Tap the Menu Button (normally 3 little dots)
    7. Tap on Status privacy
    8. Select My contacts for who can see your status updates
  • Keep Last Seen on: Last seen refers to the last time your child used WhatsApp – great for checking when last your child was actually using WhatsApp.
    1. Tap the Menu Button (normally 3 little dots)
    2. Go to Settings – Tap on Account
    3. Tap on Privacy
    4. Tap Last Seen
    5. Select My contacts
  • What to do if you can’t see your child’s last seen:
    1. They may have set their privacy settings to hide this information
    2. You may have set your privacy settings to not share your last seen. If you do not share your last seen, you cannot see other people’s last seen.
    3. You may have been blocked Blocking contact:
  1. Tap the Menu Button (normally 3 little dots)
  2. Go to Settings – Tap on Account
  3. Tap on Privacy
  4. Tap on Blocked Contacts. This page displays all contacts that they have blocked
  5. Tap Add Contact icon at the bottom of the screen to select a contact to block
  6. To block an unknown contact, open the chat conversation, scroll to the top, then tap Block 
  1. snapchat: how to use protection features

Snapchat is a free photo and video app. You must be 13 years old or older, but children bypass this by giving a different birth year. You can choose who to send the message to, and once it’s viewed, it’s gone forever (unless screenshotted). It is very popular among teens because even if parents check their child’s phone, they will not be able to see the messages sent and received through the app. Cyberbullies love this app, because it is difficult to document cruel messages.

  • Users “Snap” a photo or video with their phone’s camera
  • Senders choose how long the message will appear
  • Senders choose who they will send the message to
  • Once the message is viewed, it is deleted
  • Snapchat Stories: Users can post their photos/ videos to 24 hour view
  • Text Messaging: Users can send text messages to friends and once it is viewed by both parties the message will be deleted
  • Snapchat alerts a person when someone has taken a screenshot of their message, but there is no way to prevent them from doing

What are the protection features for your child?

  • Contact:
    1. Tap in the top right-hand corner of the Profile screen
    2. Scroll down to the ‘Who Can…’ section and tap an option
    3. Choose an option, then tap the back button to save your choice:
  • Who Can Contact Me: Choose who can contact you directly with Snaps, Chats, calls.
  • Who Can View My Story: Choose who can view your Story. Tap ‘Custom’ if you’d like to block specific friends from seeing your Story
  • To remove a Snapchatter who is your friend:
    1. Tap Bitmoji in the upper left hand corner of the Camera screen
    2. Tap ‘My Friends’
    3. Enter the Snapchatters name in the search bar
    4. Press and hold on their username and tap ‘Remove Friend’ To block a Snapchatter who is your friend:
    5. Tap Bitmoji in the upper left hand corner of the Camera screen
    6. Tap ‘My Friends’ on the Profile Screen
    7. Tap on their name
    8. Tap the below their name and select ‘Block’ to prevent them from sending you Snaps, Chats, or from viewing your Story
  • To block a Snapchatter who chatted to you:
    1. Swipe left on the name of who chatted to you
    2. Tap
    3. Tap ‘Block’ to prevent them from sending you Snaps, Chats, or from viewing your Story To block a Snapchatter who added you follow the steps below:
    4. Tap ‘Added Me’ on the Profile Screen
    5. Tap their name, then tap next to their name
    6. Press ‘Block’ to prevent them from sending you Snaps, Chats, or from viewing your Story
  1. instagram: how to use protection features 

Instagram is a free social media app that shares photos or videos to followers or a select group of friends. Videos range from 3 to 15 seconds. All you need to sign up is an email address and a username. You must be at least 13 years old.

  • Take or select a photo,
  • Choose and apply an optional photo filter to make it look even cooler Write a caption
  • Tag people on the photo
  • Links to other social media platforms
  • Followers can like, comment or share it
  • Once posted the user can delete or edit the post.
  • Public viewing is the default

What are the protection features for your child?

  • Profile: The default setting is public. To change:
    1. Go to your Instagram profile window
    2. Tap on Privacy
    3. Select My contacts for who can see your photo and personal settings Blocking people:
    4. Go to your Followers list and check out the people who follow you
    5. Tap on the user that you want to block
    6. From the top-right corner, tap on the menu button
    7. In the new window, choose the Block User option Remove the location from photos:
    8. Go to your Instagram profile account
    9. Tap on the dropped pin icon
    10. Tap on the three dots and click “Edit”
    11. You’ll see a photo map of your photos that have geotags. Select the photos that you want to remove from your geo-map. Tap on them and then tap on the check mark at the top right of the screen
    12. Click Confirm
  • Don’t let others tag you, rather manually add photos you’ve been tagged in to your profile:
    1. Go to your Instagram profile account
    2. Access the Photos of You area
    3. Tap the menu button in the top-right corner
    4. Choose the option to add photos manually to your profile
    5. facebook: how to use protection features 

Facebook is a social networking app where users can post comments, share photographs and links to news or other content on the Web, play games, chat live, and even stream live video. Shared content can be made publicly accessible, or it can be shared only among a select group of friends or family, or with a single person. You must be 13 to use it, but users get around this by fudging their birth years.

  • It allows a friends list and privacy settings
  • Text, Photos, video, websites and photo albums that can be shared
  • It has an interactive online chat section
  • Video can also be live streamed using Facebook Live

What are the protection features for your child? ● Profile: The default setting is public.

  1. Click on the 3 lines at the top right
  2. Tap on Account Settings
  3. Select Privacy
  4. You can also go to your profile and click on “About”. You will see sections like work, education, contact, family and relationship, life events. Each item has a privacy setting. Posting: Only friends can post to timeline ● Hide/ Delete Posts and Comments:
  5. Hover over the post till you see pencil to the right
  6. Click on pencil and select Delete Post, Hide from Timeline or Report/Mark as Spam.
  7. You can also delete comments on your timeline by clicking on the X to the right of the comment Untag yourself from a photo:
  8. Click your timeline and then Photos
  9. Navigate to the photo you wish to untag
  10. Click on the photo click on the gear icon to the right of the picture, select Report/Remove Tag
  • Quick Privacy Checkup
    1. Click on the privacy icon
    2. Select “Privacy Checkup” box in the drop-down menu
    3. Once the new tutorial box opens up:

○ Click on drop-down menu and change who sees your posts to “Friends”

○ Click “Next Step”

○ Change privacy settings for all of your apps to either “Only Me” or “Friends”

○ Delete any apps you don’t want associated with

Facebook here

○ Set privacy for your profile by changing all personal information to either “Only Me” or “Friends”

○ Click “Finish Up,” and then “Close”

  1. iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch: how to use parental control

You can use Restrictions, also known as parental controls, to block or limit specific apps and features on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

  • Turn on Restrictions from a phone
    1. Tap Settings > General > Restrictions.
    2. Scroll down and tap Restrictions, then tap Enable Restrictions.
    3. Create a Restrictions passcode. You need your Restrictions passcode to change your settings or to turn off Restrictions.
  • Change your Restrictions passcode
    1. Go to Settings > General > Restrictions.
    2. Enter your current Restrictions passcode.
    3. Tap Disable Restrictions, then enter your Restrictions passcode again.
    4. Tap Enable Restrictions, then enter a new Restrictions passcode.
  • How to set restrictions from a computer
    1. Open iTunes.
    2. Mac: From the menu bar at the top of your computer screen, choose iTunes > Preferences.
    3. Windows: From the menu bar at the top of the iTunes window, choose Edit > Preferences.
    4. Click the Restrictions tab.
    5. Select the items that you want to disable and restrict. You can also set rating levels for movies, TV shows, and apps using the menus to the right of these items.
  1. Advice from a South African Legal Social Media guru:

The book just released by South African media law fundi Emma Sadleir : Selfies, Sexts and Smartphones. Emma reminds us NOT to give a smartphone to any child under 13. If they need a phone buy them a dumb phone (a basic mobile phone that lacks the advanced functionality of a smartphone).

  1. Acronyms used on social media to talk about parents:

CD9 / Code 9               Parents are around

KPC                              Keeping parents clueless

MOS                             Mom over shoulder

P911                            Parent alert

PAW                            Parents are watching

PAL                              Parents are listening

PIR                               Parent in room

POS                              Parent over shoulder

  1. Websites I used for curating: 

I have curated this information from amongst other websites, forums, facebook discussions, articles, interviews, tutorials and other how-to-guides. If I have omitted a source, please inform me and I’ll add it to the list:,review2258.html sused_for_cyberbullying_or_by_predators.html

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