How To Set Up Pinterest For Kids

At first glance, Pinterest appears to be one of the safest social media sites. There's little direct communication between participants, so your child is unlikely to connect with predators. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that Pinterest is entirely safe. There are several things parents need to keep in mind as they allow their children to browse Pinterest, notably including:

  • Mature content, including pornographic content, that hasn't yet been blocked by Pinterest
  • Content that glorifies eating disorders or self-harm
  • Links that lead away from Pinterest to other sites that could potentially be dangerous
  • A lack of privacy on Pinterest (most people use their real name to sign up)
  • Pinterest has secret boards that are visible only to your child and whoever they choose to invite
  • You can hide your child’s account from search engines and disable cookie-based personalization
  • Your child has the ability to block other Pinterest users if they encounter harassment or bullying

It's also important to keep in mind that your child may not be in control of what images they see when they're browsing. Content pinned by the individuals they follow (who your child may never have met) or content that appears after a seemingly innocent search can be surprisingly detrimental. Pinterest’s terms of service state that children must be at least 13 to use their product, but some parents may choose to allow their child to use it earlier.

How do you keep your child safe while they're browsing Pinterest? There are several steps that can help keep your child safer.

Follow Your Child

Do you follow your child on Pinterest? While this may not mean that you see everything they look at, it will show you what they're pinning — and make it easy for you to check out their boards. Following your child may help you note any disturbing trends in your child's Pinterest behavior before they become a more serious problem. Knowing that you're following them may also help prevent your child from looking up and pinning content that could be detrimental to their mental health.

Keep in mind that others can follow your child, too. Avoid linking your child's Pinterest account to their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts to help prevent strangers from learning more about them.

Limit Pinterest Time

You may find that limiting your child to browsing Pinterest on a browser helps you keep a more effective eye on what they're doing than allowing them to browse straight from their phone. Consider limiting the amount of time spent on Pinterest just like you would any other social media site. Many parents feel that Pinterest is essentially harmless, and it may be for most children. Others may struggle with the ready availability of pornographic images or inappropriate content. Limiting time on the site can also help limit their exposure to that content.

Adjust Parental Controls in Your Browser

It can be helpful to adjust parental controls in your browser to help prevent your child from browsing to websites that display inappropriate content, even if they are linked on Pinterest.

Talk to Your Child

Any time you discover that your child is accessing inappropriate content, it's important to have a conversation about it. Some content is accessed simply because of a child's natural curiosity. Other content may be accessed because your child fell down a metaphorical “rabbit hole” while browsing and ended up in a place they didn't intend to go. No matter how your child accessed that content, however, it's important to talk about it. Share your views, including why you would rather they avoid that type of content. An open dialogue makes it easier for your child to tell you what they've seen — and it increases the odds that they'll turn to you — instead of to the internet — to learn more.

Pinterest is a great place for your child to browse hairstyles, outfit ideas, workout plans, and more. With proper parental monitoring, it can be an excellent tool for your child — and these steps can help keep your child safe.

How to Monitor Content

In addition to setting parental controls on your child's device, the next safety layer parents and caregivers should strongly consider is a monitoring solution to assess the content their kids encounter (and produce) across text messages, social media, and email. Bark can do this for you. On Pinterest, Bark monitors the child's profile, the images and descriptions that they pin. If you'd like to see a detailed list of everything Bark can monitor, click here.

Bark - The Internet Safety Solution

Bark is dedicated to helping keep kids safe online and in real life. In 2018, we helped protect nearly 3 million kids with our groundbreaking products for families and schools.

By monitoring text messages, YouTube, emails, and 24+ different social networks for potential safety concerns like cyberbullying, self-harm, violence, sexual predators, and more, Bark allows busy parents to rest easier knowing their kids are better protected from digital dangers. Sign up today to start your free, one-week trial or visit Bark.us to learn more.