How To Set Up Reddit Parental Controls

Also known as "the front-page of the internet," Reddit is a popular online forum that features a vast amount of content for users to read, contribute to, and share with other people. It functions much like a message board. Reddit is routinely in the top ten most popular websites in the U.S., and it has has grown significantly since its humble beginnings in 2005.

The forum is organized by user-created boards known as "subreddits" that can be about nearly any topic imaginable. A subreddit is preceded by the characters "r/" in the url. For example, "r/planes" would be a subreddit on the general topic of planes. Similarly, a subreddit entitled "r/stocks" would be all about the stock market.

Pros

Reddit really is just a large database of knowledge. While some of that "knowledge" is certainly random photos and memes, there are plenty of subreddits that are all about learning specific topics, such as "r/guitarlessons" or "r/woodworking". These can be excellent channels for beginners to learn new hobbies or share their knowledge with others.

Cons

As you can imagine, a website with such an open-ended platform could be worrisome for younger visitors. Because Reddit is such a popular destination, there are scores of NSFW (not safe for work) threads available on the site. Although not immediately visible, it is there. Thankfully, there are ways to protect your child from viewing any explicit content.

How to Keep Your Child Safe on Reddit

How to create an account

Create your child's Reddit account yourself and sign up with your own email address. This allows you to keep tabs on what your child is looking at, and even change settings or block usage if it ever becomes necessary. Without access to your email address, your child will not be able to change the password. While this is a great first step, there are a few account settings you will need to change to make the browsing experience more kid-friendly.

Note: You can use Reddit without logging in it all. It’s possible to log out at any time once you’ve logged in to escape any restrictions put in pace.

How to secure your child’s Reddit account

  1. Click on your child’s account username at the top-right corner of the screen.
  2. Select User Settings from the dropdown menu.
  3. Tap the Profile menu button.
  4. Scroll down until you see the Advanced section. Uncheck both Content Visibility and Active in communities visibility, which will help keep your child more anonymous online. Click Save at the bottom of the screen.
  5. Next, scroll back up and select the Privacy & Security menu button.
  6. In the top section labeled User Privacy, uncheck Search engine indexing. This prevents any search engine from displaying your child's profile in search results.
  7. Scroll down until you see the Messaging Privacy section. Click on the dropdown next to the Who can message you setting and change it from Everyone to Whitelisted. Now you can customize the users who can message your child's account; for example, a neighborhood friend. Keep in mind that administrators and moderators of subreddits that your child is following will always be able to send them private messages. So it is important to decide carefully what subreddits your child can follow. Click Save at the bottom of the screen.
  8. Next, scroll back up and click on the Feed Settings menu button.
  9. At the very top of the list is the Content Preferences section. Verify that Adult Content is disabled (it should be disabled by default but it doesn't hurt to double-check). It may also be a good idea to disable Autoplay media immediately below the Adult Content setting, which stops videos and .gifs from playing automatically. Click Save at the bottom of the screen.

Report hateful speech or bullying.

If your child comes across any hateful speech or bullying, help them report any offending users.

  1. For offensive posts: click the “...” at the bottom of the post and select Report from the dropdown that appears. Then select a reason for the report and click Submit.
  2. For offensive comments, click on the Report button immediately below the comment. Then select a reason for the report and click Submit.

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 Reddit, Bark monitors your child's submissions, comments, and private messages. This includes replies to their comments, which come in as private messages. 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.

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