Social Media Safeguarding Concerns: Apps and Platforms

The lives of children and young people are now, more than ever before, being lived on different social media platforms. Many young people and children have a better understanding of these apps and platforms than adults. In this blog, we discuss some of the most popular social media sites and possible safeguarding concerns they can have, if not correctly monitored.

This blog is best shared with parents to ensure they understand some of the risks associated with social media.  

What are the Risks for Children?  

While there are positives to social media such as connecting with friends and family, there are also negatives associated with social media. 

The NSPCC has a fantastic list of potential safeguarding concerns when it comes to social media which can include: 

  • Oversharing  
  • Sharing their location 
  • Talking to strangers 
  • Sending inappropriate content 
  • Receiving inappropriate content 
  • Body dysmorphia  
  • Obsessive behaviour  

You can help keep children safe while on social media by having open conversations about the sites and apps they are using. Review the location settings on their devices and remind them why it is important for them not to share their location with people they do not know. It is vital children understand if they share their location publicity it can be seen by someone they do not know, which can increase the risk of cyberbullying or unwanted contact from people.  

Likewise, it is important for parents and caregivers to explore the safety and privacy settings on all apps. Each app will have a different way to set up an account, but most will have privacy settings to hide locations etc. 

Popular Apps 

National Online Safety has a fantastic range of free guides on each of these social media apps/sites which you can find here 


The world’s most popular social media platform encourages interacting with other people by adding them as friends, reacting to and /or sharing their posts. You can also join groups and play games on Facebook.  

Possible Safeguarding Concerns: 

  • Addictive nature  
  • Oversharing  
  • Inappropriate content  
  • Cyberbullying  
  • Stranger danger  
  • Live video streaming  


Instagram is a social media site in which users can upload photos and videos to their feeds which can be edited and shared with followers. If your account is not private than anyone can follow you and see your feed.  

Possible Safeguarding Concerns: 

  • Location sharing 
  • DMs/direct messages 
  • Live streaming to strangers 
  • Public accounts 
  • Impact on wellbeing 
  • Influencer culture 
  • In-app payments 

Tik Tok 

A video-sharing app which allows people to film, edit and share reels, typical of the person lip-syncing or dancing to popular music. Tick Tok is aimed at a younger audience and since its release in 2019 now has over 1 billion users.  

Possible Safeguarding Concerns: 

  • Not age-appropriate content 
  • Explicit songs 
  • Over-sexualised dancing 
  • TikTok fame 
  • Lack of privacy settings 
  • In-app spending 
  • False content/allegations  


Snapchat is an app for sharing photos and video content with followers and friends. You can also chat with friends via text, audio or video. Snapchat has filters available for editing videos and images and stories are only available for 24 hours, likewise photos, videos and audio sent privately will also delete once opened. 

Possible Safeguarding Concerns: 

  • Connecting with strangers 
  • Explicit content 
  • Sexting and nudes 
  • Visible location 
  • Impact on wellbeing and confidence 
  • Excessive use 


A social networking app that synchs with Snapchat to allow people to build their community of friends. Hoop works in a similar vein as Tinder where people need to ‘match’ or accept each other before they can connect.

Possible Safeguarding Concerns: 

  • No age verification 
  • Visible location 
  • Risk of grooming 
  • Possible data collection 
  • Stranger danger 
  • Explicit content 


A popular worldwide messaging service in which people can send messages, videos, photos, audio and documents.  

Possible Safeguarding Concerns: 

  • Scams 
  • Disappearing messages 
  • Can enable fake news 
  • Contact from strangers 
  • Can enable cyberbullying 
  • Location sharing  


Tinder is an online dating app in which users are matched with people based on various preferences such as age and location. Users must match to be able to start communicating.  

Possible Safeguarding Concerns: 

  • Fake profiles ‘catfishing’ 
  • Pressure to meet in person 
  • Curated profiles 
  • Privacy concerns 
  • Emotional distress/harm 


A website that pairs strangers for live chats or videos whose slogan is ‘We Talk to Strangers.’ It has an adult setting as well as a 13+ setting.  

Possible Safeguarding Concerns: 


A platform where users can connect, chat and livestream with up to ten friends. Users match using a similar system to Tinder where you accept or reject profiles and connect once you match. 

Possible Safeguarding Concerns: 

  • Risk of grooming 
  • Potential for oversharing 
  • Inappropriate content 
  • Cyberbullying 
  • Addictive  


A messaging platform for children to connect with each other. In a similar style to Tinder, once users have matched, they can chat, share content and play games together. 

Possible Safeguarding Concerns: 

  • Over-sharing of personal information  
  • Location sharing 
  • Risk of grooming 
  • Cyberbullying 
  • Inappropriate content  
Posted Date

13th June 2022

Georgia Latief
Marketing Content Manager

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