How to Keep Your Child Safe while Live Streaming

Sep 22, 2016

Even though the technology has been around for many years, within the past year live streaming has really skyrocketed with the recent emergence of platforms such as Periscope, Blab, Busker, and to an extent Snapchat. While some have come and gone or transitioned (RIP Meerkat), the constant has remained the same. Live streaming is here to stay. This means our kids/teens with smartphones have most likely have already or will soon jump on the live stream bandwagon. Just with any social media platform, there are some extra measures that need to take place to keep our teens safe.

  • Location Services OFF: This is one of the most important because the Periscope pro’s, marketers, and brands use location services to allow viewers to find their broadcasts and enhance/provide value. Parents need to remind their kids to leave location services off so they cannot be tracked or monitored by strangers. Not only is this important but also make sure your kids are not live streaming key landmarks or establishments that can reveal more info than really needs to be shared.

  • Screen Name Choice: I fall into the group that has no issue putting my real name out in public namely because I am working on building everything for my online presences around a personal branding strategy. I strongly recommend that parents work with their kids to choose screen names that don’t reveal their real names or identities. Now in the privacy of texts, phone calls, etc. that’s one thing, but in the public realm of live streaming, choosing a screen name that hides your kids’ identities is a must. Help them choose something that doesn’t reveal anything.

  • Moderating: I presume that it is safe to say that parents are doing this all the time already with online gaming, social media, and things like that, but we don’t officially call it moderating. In the live streaming space, it is important for parents to jump onto their kids live broadcasts to keep things in check. Live streaming platforms are unfortunately notorious for “trolls” and other questionable characters that may show up in a broadcast to negatively disrupt, bully, or harass the broadcaster. While most of us can handle these things as adults, we really need to help out our kids out and protect them as much as we can.

While live streaming has changed the social landscape in recent history, we cannot be blind to the potential dangers and risks associated with broadcasting audio and video live to the world with nothing more than our smartphones. As a parent myself, I feel I have a leg up on the situation by using Net Nanny on all of my child’s mobile devices so the day my daughter comes to me with a smartphone and attempts to live stream to the world. I am all for “in the moment” sharing of events and other points in time, however I am a parent first, and keeping my daughter safe online is my number one priority. Net Nanny give me the peace of mind that it will be watching out for my child even when I can’t always be there to do it in person.