Should I let my kid use this service?

Apps and sites come and go. Sure, Facebook and Twitter are household names, but what about newer things like Meerkat and B612? Keeping up can be impossible!

When your kid comes to you and asks if it’s ok to join a new service, you need some knowledge. We collected key questions that help you determine whether or not a service is appropriate for your kid.


Get to know the service with these questions in mind:

  • Does the service appear to be for kids? For example, is the language easy for kids to understand?
  • Does it have an age limit? This can often be found out in the terms and conditions.
  • Is there a “Parents” page?
  • Are there rules? Do they seem OK? Are there consequences to breaking them?
  • Is the service moderated or otherwise supervised?
  • What kind of privacy settings are there? Is it possible to go friends only or is everything public?
  • Is it possible to report and block other users?
  • Can the account be deleted? What about single pieces of content, for example a picture that you regret sharing?
  • Is customer support provided?
  • Does the service have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media? See what they post and how they answer questions!
  • What do other parents and kids say about the service? Ask around, skim the app reviews or do a simple Google search. Try to look for new comments – if the product had problems two years ago, there’s a good chance those have been fixed by now. Try to also dig deep: often the first results are the most shock-worthy and don’t necessarily tell much about the service.
  • Most importantly: Do you feel this service is good for your kid?
Ask your kid to help you find the answers! That way he or she will get a good idea of what makes a service trustworthy.


Picture: felix003, a Momio user

Picture: felix003, a Momio user


Everything’s good – let’s join!

If you do decide that your kid can use the service, create the account together. You’ll both get to see what kind of rules the service has and what personal information is required. If an email has to be provided, consider using your email address. Get to know the key features together and if you haven’t done it before, talk to your kid about who they can become friends with and what kind of things are OK to share.

Have fun!


About the author:

Silja Nielsen, watAgame

Silja Nielsen is Head of Community and Safety at watAgame. She has been a watAgamer since 2010. Silja has a master’s degree in Media Studies and is interested in privacy, online behaviour and online communities.