Keep Your Child Safe With These Facebook Parental Controls

Facebook is among the many social media platforms used today, including Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat. Even though this platform isn’t widely used by kids, 51% percent of teens (ages 13 – 17) still use it. Kids and teens often use the Facebook app to look up local businesses, join groups, message others, and connect with family members. 

If your child uses Facebook, continue reading to learn more about it and the Facebook parental controls you can enable. 

What Is Facebook? 

Facebook is one of the original social media platforms, which was established in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg. The platform’s mission is to help people make connections with friends, family, and those with similar interests. The platform has evolved into something that is not only used for this purpose, but for businesses to market themselves as well. 

So, what can users do on the platform?

  • Make “friends”, follow pages, and join groups.
  • Post photos, videos, links, text, GIFs, live streams, and more on their profile. This content is shown on friends’ News Feeds. 
  • Browse your News Feed to see what your connections are up to. 
  • Privately message friends via Messenger or Messenger Kids. 


It should be noted that like most social media platforms, users are expected to be at least 13-years-old. 

How Can Your Children Privately Message Others?

As stated previously, Facebook is often used to privately message images, videos, and text to friends on the platform. Most users use Messenger, the default Facebook messaging app. 

If your child is a kid or teen, you may want them to use the Messenger Kids app. Even though the app is intended for children under 13, kids older than that can use it as well. The app is kid-friendly and allows parents to oversee their child’s contact list and messages. Kids get access to age-appropriate filters, stickers, emojis, sound effects, and more to enhance their photos and video chats. 

With the Messenger Kids app, parents are able to do a number of things including:

  • Approving, removing, reporting, and blocking contacts. 
  • Review their app usage and see who they’re messaging (the past 30 days). 
  • View sent and received images and videos. 
  • Sleep Mode: Controls what days and times of the week their child can use the app.
  • Request and download their child’s information including contact lists, images, videos, and more. 


Besides using Messenger Kids, there are a number of other parental controls on the main Facebook app. 

Facebook Parental Controls All Parents Should Use

Create A Private Account

One of the first things you should do when setting up your child’s Facebook account is making sure it’s private. This means that only people who they are friends with can see their information and posts. 

How To Create A Private Account On Facebook

  • Click on the drop down arrow in the upper right corner of your web browser. 
  • Select SettingsPrivacy
  • Under Your Activity, tap Edit next to Who can see your future posts?. 
  • Choose Friends


How Can People Find & Contact You

Within the privacy settings, parents can control how people find their child’s profile (on Facebook and search engines) as well as how they can contact them. These settings include:

  • Who can send you friend requests? – Select Friends of Friends
  • Who can see your friends list? – Select Friends
  • Who can look you up using the email address you provided? – Select Only Me
  • Who can look you up using the phone number you provided? – Select Only Me
  • Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile? – Deselect the checkmark


Timeline & Tagging Settings

There are numerous Timeline & Tagging Settings you will want to enable to protect your child’s Facebook use. 

  • Under Timeline:
    • Who can post on your timeline? – Select Friends
    • Who can see what others post on your timeline? – Select Friends
    • Allow others to share your posts in their stories? – Select Disabled
    • Hide comments containing certain words from your timeline. Here, you can add words you don’t want your child seeing, such as curse words. 


Location Tracking

Just like many other mobile apps, Facebook has a feature one can enable to track their mobile device location history. For children, having a record of this data could be a risk if the data is leaked somehow. 

How To Disable Location History Tracking On Facebook

  • Click on the drop down arrow in the upper right corner of your web browser. 
  • Select SettingsLocation.
  • Next to Turn on Location History for your mobile device?, click Edit.
  • Choose Off


Those are just a few of the essential controls and settings parents should use on their child’s Facebook and Messenger Kids accounts. Otherwise, make sure to educate your child on the best social media practices. 

Categories: Tips For Parents