The POWER IS YOURS: How to SET Social MEDIA & Gaming Profiles Privacy Settings

The power is in your hands with safety features just a few clicks away! All social media sites, gaming platforms/consoles and streaming services provide filters and controls to put privacy and safety measures in your hands, you just need to know what to look out for…

We have compiled some steps for how to set the privacy settings on some of the larger (current) gaming and social networking platforms. We strongly recommend investing in ten minutes to review the settings and controls with your children to teach them about this safe practice and digital life skill. While this list is not exhaustive, user settings are part of every app or platform, where you will always find controls and filters to put the power of privacy back in your hands.



Snap Maps and Ghost Mode:
There is a trend amongst young people to openly share their location. Snapchat being one of the most popular platforms features such as Snap Maps publishes your exact location on a map every time you actively use the app. To avoid sharing your location Ghost Mode (found in settings) will need to be turned on hiding your location from your “friends”.
How to urn on Ghost Mode:
1.       Open the Snapchat camera screen.
2.       Use your finger to SWIPE down, this will open Snap Maps .
3.       In the top right hand corner select the Settings Wheel (with the ghost on it).
4.       Set your preference for ‘Who Can See Me’ and set this to Only Me (Ghost Mode). This will switch on the Ghost Mode setting.
Whilst in settings, you might want to also review what personal information has been provided, who you allow to contact you and customising the notifications feature. 



Automatically hide offensive comments:
When this feature is turned on inappropriate, offensive or bullying comments that users may receive are automatically filtered out from posts, stories and live videos:
1.     Go to your profile
2.     Select Settings.
3.     Select Privacy and Security.
4.     Tap Comment Controls.
5.     Tap next to Hide Offensive Comments to turn it on.Once the offensive comment filter is turned on, you can also turn on a keyword filter to hide comments that contain specific words, phrases and even emojis that you don’t want seen. You can include any terms that you know your child may be being called or targeted with.
1.     Go to your profile
2.     Tap Settings.
3.     Tap Privacy and Security.
4.     Tap Comment Controls.
5.     Make sure that Hide Offensive Comments is turned on.
6.     Tap next to Manual Filter to turn it on.
7.   Add any terms or phrase you wish to be filtered out. 


Gaming Profile/Account are often overlooked as social networking. With many of todays games providing users with the ability to work in team and openly communicate. Users are able to connect and add other users granting access to their statistics and information provided. 
Embedded within the privacy settings and the initial account set up on these consoles it is important to accurately enter your child’s year of birth as this automatically sets appropriate age restrictions for this age group. Through these settings you are able to choose the apps your child can access, set time limits, control purchases and who can communicate with them during game play. Here are some recommended actions for Xbox ONE and PlayStation 4 to add a layer of security and peace of mind.

How to Set up a CHILD account on:

PlayStation 4:
1.     Sign in or create an adult account.
2.     Go to Settings > Parental Controls/Family Management > Family Management > Add > Family Member > Create User.
3.     You’ll need a Sony Entertainment network account for them. Adding the date of birth will indicate it’s a child account.

Xbox ONE:
1.      Sign in or create an adult account.
2.      Select Settings > Family > Add to family > Add New.
3.      You will need a free Microsoft account.
4.      Choose from Child or Teen for the account type (different restriction exist depending on which one you select). Here you will also be turn on parental controls. These can easily be changed later.

A common feature of online gaming is the ability for strangers to communicate through multiplayer online games. Use the settings within these consoles to ensure that your children aren’t talking to strangers while they play games:

PlayStation 4:
1.      Go to Settings > Parental Controls/Family Management > Family Management.
2.      Select the child’s account.
3.      Select Applications/Devices/Network Features.
4.      Under ‘Network Features’ you can stop them communicating with or viewing content created by other players.

Xbox ONE:
1.      Go to Settings > All Settings > Account > Family and choose the child’s account
2.      Select Privacy & Online Safety. Here you can alter who can see your child when they’re online (no-one, friends and everyone) and whether they communicate by voice and text with them.

Regardless of the application, game or profile the power is in your hands. Whilst gaming and social networking platforms will not always promote their safety features as default, accessing the settings enable you to review how your information is used and gives you the power to decide ways other users can interact with you. Investing a few minutes of your time to work with your child to set things up right from the start is a powerful teachable moment that will assist with keeping them safer online.