What kind of parental controls does Facebook have?

Facebook is probably the most well-known social media app in the world. But its privacy settings can be a mystery to parents of younger users. Let’s discuss why setting up Facebook parental controls is a good idea.

Are Facebook and Facebook Messenger safe for kids?

The age limit to set up a Facebook account is 13 years old, but it’s very simple for a younger child to sign up with a false date of birth, as the app has no way of verifying their details. The good news is accounts set up by under 18s are automatically set to ‘private’ and location sharing is ‘off’ by default.

With a private account it means your child’s profile can only be viewed by friends, friends of friends or groups they are involved in. The same is true with Facebook Messenger for kids – they can only communicate with people they know. Although both apps are safe for kids to use, it’s still worth reviewing and monitoring your child’s profile from time to time.


Setting parental controls on Facebook

Despite the automatic private account setting for under 18s, you can set up different Facebook parental controls in the app. This will keep you from having to watch over their shoulders every time they use Facebook or Facebook Messenger.

To make sure your child is protected, go to the settings icon on their Facebook profile page – the round icon with three dots in the middle – and choosing Facebook Privacy from the next menu. From here you can conduct what the platform calls a ‘Privacy Check-up’.

Facebook Parental controls for iPhone

You can put all of the above steps in place on your child’s Facebook account using an iPhone or iOS device. When you want to change or amend the privacy settings, tap the menu button (the three lines), under ‘Privacy shortcuts’ you can manage their privacy settings, account security and more.

Interested in other parental controls for your child’s device? Read our parental controls for iPhone guide.

Facebook Parental controls for Android

The steps above are similar for Android users too, though the icons might be slightly different. If you’re thinking about what other parental controls you can put in place on your child’s Android device, read our parental controls for Android article.

Facebook messenger for kids

Although not yet available in the UK, Messenger Kids is the dedicated messaging app for Facebook users under 13. It includes features such as free video calling and messaging for smartphones and tablets. Parents are able to manage the contact list so that your child only communicates with the people you allow. It’s a safer alternative to the adult Facebook Messenger platform and they can register with the first and last name instead of their mobile number.


How to turn off parental controls on Facebook?

We encourage you to keep parental controls on your child’s Facebook account to protect them when they’re online. However, if you want to turn these controls off on your child’s iPhone, iOS device, Android phone or tablet, simply amend the privacy settings on the posts, photos or information via ‘Settings’ and ‘Privacy shortcuts’.

For more information on setting controls across a range of devices, apps and platforms visit Internet Matters

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