Stay up-to-date with social media

Young male showing phone

As you’ll know, social media moves fast. So getting up to speed with all the trends and privacy settings of the different platforms your teen’s using can be a bit overwhelming.

In this guide, we’ll run through how you can stay up-to-date with social media trends, as well as privacy tips for the platforms that teens are using.

Check the eSafety Guide

The eSafety Guide is your go-to resource for learning about all the latest apps, games and social media platforms, including what they’re used for and how to protect your information. You can also sign up to their newsletter to keep on top of online issues and trends.

Chat with your teen

Often the best (and most knowledgeable) people to talk with about social media are your kids. Just ask them which apps and platforms they use, and why they use them. Start with:

  • ‘Why do you like using it?’

  • ‘I’m keen to know how it all works. Can you show me how to use it?’

  • ‘Do you use it to follow friends, or is it more about connecting with people around the world?’

  • ‘Can we take a look at the privacy settings? I’m happy for you to use the platform, but I just want to make sure you’re staying safe.’

  • ‘What kind of information or articles do you share?’

Talk to teachers

Teachers are also a great resource. Talk to them about what students are using, or ask them to have an expert come and chat to the school community. Some local area youth liaison police officers are also available to come and talk to your school or community about current e-safety trends.

Connect with parents

Get together with other parents to talk about what platforms their teens are using and how they’re using them. You could also jump online to ReachOut’s Parents Discussion Forum to connect with others.

Educate yourself

You could check out (and follow) sites such as Mumbrella, B&T, The Verge and Mashable, which often cover news and insights about social media trends. It’s likely that your favourite news publications have sections that cover social media and technology trends, too.

It might sound simple, but you could always search on Google for things like ‘popular social media platforms Australia’ or ‘top social media trends teens’. Chances are you’ll find what you’re looking for.

Staying up to date with privacy settings

With each new platform comes a new space and new set of guidelines for you and your teen to get familiar with. Remember, it’s common for platforms to reset your settings when they make an update to their privacy policy or management tool.

With this in mind, make sure you’re chatting to your teen about their settings, helping them to manage their own accounts, and regularly checking that their desired settings are still in place. For all platforms, it’s generally recommended to reset your password every 6-8 weeks.



  • Choose to have a public or private account. If your account is set to private, only people you approve will be able to see your content. Here’s how to make your profile private.

  • Instagram adds images to a location map. This means that your location will be visible to all of your followers on a map linked to your profile if you select 'include image location' when making a post. It's recommended that you turn this function off by going into the settings on your smartphone and disabling location access for Instagram.

  • Keep your details to a minimum if you have a public account. The only information you must provide publicly is your username, which means it’s fairly simple to keep your other details private.

  • Find out more about Instagram’s privacy settings.







  • Facebook changes its privacy settings regularly, but you can keep up to date on the Facebook Help Centre.

  • Explore the privacy and safety section and get familiar with the settings.

  • Ensure posts you make are set to send to ‘friends only’. If you want to change who can see a post after you have sent it, you can.

  • Set your image settings so that any tagged pictures or posts need to be approved first.

  • Make sure all your profile information (like email addresses and phone numbers) is set to ‘only me’.

  • Use the ‘privacy check up’ to easily access basic privacy settings on Facebook.

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