Is Tumblr Safe? Using Safe Mode and Other Settings
What is Tumblr? Who uses Tumblr? Is Tumblr safe for teens? These are common questions for parents who discover that their teenager has been carving out their own online identity on this platform. Although many entrepreneurs capitalize on the power of Tumblr, teens typically use it as a place to explore and share, perhaps even contributing their own content. They connect with peers who share common interests, like fandoms. It becomes an outlet for adolescent angst or creativity. But is it safe for teenagers? Here is what every parent needs to know.
Anonymity’s Double-Edge Sword
Rather than use a real name, Tumblr users create a handle. Although anonymity carries with it an element of security, it also empowers malicious users to become cyberbullies with little accountability. So, parents should not fall into a false sense of security believing that their teenager is safe online simply because they are engaging through a handle.
Tumblr’s may also think there is unlimited security in anonymity. In fact, users who think not using a name creates a safety barrier, may post personal photos without much care. However, these photos can then be downloaded by anyone on the web. Additionally, images can be altered to re-create something embarrassing. Cyberbullies may even target a specific user, downloading their personal photos, altering them and re-posting with the specific intent of tormenting a person. Posting personal photos can undo the protection of an anonymous handle.
Tumblr’s create their own privacy settings that control access to their account and posts. However, this platform does not allow for the creation of a completely private account. For greater privacy, the only option is to create settings for posts that allow them to only be viewed by users who have permission for viewing by the main account holder. Establish privacy protocols through Account Management and Blog Privacy Settings.
Account Management: Opted in or out to minimize or enhance account access security using the following features:
- Password: Password required to log in to account.
- Email: Enable users to find an account through an email address.
- Notification: Account holder is notified by email of any logins or password changes.
- Authentication: Telephone number verification through texted PIN required to make security feature changes.
- Apps Restriction: Use of this feature prevents third-parties from using data from the account.
Blog/Post Settings: Once an initial account is set up, Tumblr users have the option to create a private blog. Access to this secondary blog requires a password different from the password for main account login. Users can find this feature on the main account’s profile tab. Additionally, the +New option opens a window to set up a private page for sharing content with approved fellow Tumblrs.
Activate Safe Mode
When a new Tumblr user creates an account, Safe Mode is the default setting for search results. This automatically blocks explicit content from appearing in search results. Safe Mode can be turned off for account holders 18 years of age or older. Indeed, adult content can be viewed on their primary account’s feed if a teen has entered a false age.
- Hide Content: Tumblr has filtering options for search parameters. Users simply click on their avatar icon. Laptop and desktop users scroll down the dropdown menu to Filtering and turn on Safe Mode. Android users go to Settings. First tap the avatar icon in the tab bar, then tap the gear icon. Select General Settings, tap Filtering and turn on Safe Mode. Apple system access is through app Settings. Scroll down to Tumblr, tap, find Safe Mode and turn on.
Empower Blocking If Cyberbullied
Viewing explicit content is not the only risk on Tumblr. In fact, a main account can be accessed by online strangers who are then able to post comments. If a teen is being harassed on Tumblr, a parent may think adjusting privacy settings would solve the problem. But, since the main account cannot be completely private, teens need to be empowered with user blocking skills. There are two methods for blocking unwanted engagement:
- Unfollow/Block From Account: Click on a Tumblr’s handle to visit their site. Click on the upper right avatar icon. From dropdown menu select Block and confirm.
- Block From Message: Tumblr’s who harass with messages can be blocked through an account’s mailbox feature. In account mailbox, open the message. Laptops and desktops access this through the envelope icon at the top right of the dashboard. Mobile apps use the chat bubble icon. Tap the selected message on the mobile app. Scroll to it on laptop or desktop. Tap the 3 dots at the top right. Select the Block option and confirm.
Is Tumblr Safe for Teens?
The security features offered by Tumblr require action on the part of users. This makes parental oversight necessary in order for teens to have the safest Tumblr experience. Sit down with your teen today and ask them what safety features they have in place already. Additionally, discuss which settings they may need to put into place on this platform. You can update your technology contract to include privacy setting requirements as well.
So is Tumblr safe? Monitoring a teen’s online activity can be challenging. Parenting today involves keeping kids safe in real life and online. With a watchdog service, like Bark, parents receive help in navigating keeping their kids safer online. Bark monitors answers, chats, links, photos, photo posts, quotes and blog posts on Tumblr.
Bark is on the look-out, 24/7, for signs of cyberbullying, sexting, online sexual predators and even the digital signs that indicate teenage depression. Once a parent is alerted, they are then empowered with a variety of suggested actions for resolving the situation. Get Bark today and enjoy peace of mind while your teen enjoys exploring their self as they explore the web.