Social Media

The ease of access to technology and the internet has lead to an increase in social media use. On this page you'll find some information about social media, some of the risks involved in using it and the links to various social media sites. 

So, what is social media? 

Social media is a website, smart phone application or any other online means of communication. 

What social media is out there, what do they do and what are the links?


Facebook is a social network site that allows users to create profiles to connect with people and share photos and videos, send messages and keep in touch with friends and family.


Instagram allows you to share photos and videos with friends and family.

Instagram Stories: is a way of sharing photos and videos with people that follow your account that disappear after 25 hours.


Kik is a smartphone messenger application that allows you to connect with the people you want to talk to



Periscope is a live video streaming application available on iOS and Andriod smart phones. Going live will notify followers, who can join, comment and send hearts.


Pinterest is a content sharing service which allows users to pin content to their pinboard. Users can interact and share pins with other users.


Skype is an internet-enabled communications platform. It allows users to communication with other users through video and voice chats.


Snapchat is a smartphone application that allows user to capture videos and pictures and send them to other users or make them apart of their story. Snapchat has a viewing time limit of 1 to 10 seconds, selected by the sender. Messages are deleted after being viewed and content added to stories is deleted after 24 hours.


Tinder is a location-based dating application that facilitates communication between users. It users Facebook to build user profiles. Users who are most likely to be compatible based on geographical location, number of mutual friends and common interests are streamed into a list of matches.

Users are able to anonymously like another user by swiping right or pass by swiping left. If two users like each other, this results in a match and they are able to chat within the app.


Tumblr is a platform which users can share artwork, writing, photos, audio and videos with other users.


Twitter is a service for friends and family to communicate. Users post Tweets which may contain photos, videos or up to 140 characters of text which will be sent to users that follower that profile.


Vine is a smartphone application owned by twitter which enables users to create and post video clips with a maximum time of 6 seconds.


Wattpad is a platform for users to share stories that they have written. Users have a profile where they can share stories, photos and information about themselves. Users can also send private message to each other.


WhatsApp Messenger is a mobile messaging applications which allows users to exchange messages and make phone calls without having to pay for SMS (data charges may apply). Users can create groups, send each other images, video and audio messages. It is availabe on both mobile smart phones and computer.


YouTube is a user-generated video sharing service. Allowing users to discover, watch and share videos.

YouTube Kids: uses algorithms to select videos from YouTube suitable for children and has parental control available.

YouTube Red: A Paid Membership that gives users additional options.

What do I need to know to ensure my teen is safe on social media?

  • Ensure your teen limits their friend’s list. Make sure they know to not accept or add random people to their friends list.

  • Make sure they don’t share any person details. Things such as home address or phone numbers, credit card information, passwords to any accounts or any other personal information is valuable and should never be shared.

  • Ensure your teen never uses a webcam with anyone that they do not know.

  • You teen needs to protect their reputation. Think before they post, chat, upload or download anything. Keep post’s and chats clean.

  • You teen should also protect their privacy. All social networking sites have their own default privacy and security settings.  For instructions on updating privacy settings and reporting cyberbullying visit:

What are some of the risks of social media?

  • Sharing too much information: some information might be ok to share with close friends but it can become a problem if it’s shared widely.

  • Treating online friends as real friends: It is very easy for people to lie on the Internet. The internet provides people anonymity, which allows people to say or do things they might not do offline. Remember; never share any personal information with people you do not know.

  • Not protecting personal information: Providing account information and location information can be used inappropriately by others. It’s important to understand that there is a risk in disclosing any information online.  

Do you require more information? 

Check out the NSW Police behaviour fact sheet for more information about social media behaviour. You can also find more information about staying safe online and other forms of communcation (sexting, using chatrooms) on the Kids Helpline website