Frequently Asked Questions

For Parents

Q: What does SafeStudents Online monitor?

A: SafeStudents Online monitors your child’s activity on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+. We monitor their network of friends, the photos they post and search comments, posts, status updates, profiles, private messages, photo and video captions and descriptions. We  alert you if your child friends an adult or a person that has no other mutual friends with your child on that network. We also notify you if we find any content that includes any of the key words in our database. The actual content we can monitor varies for each social network.

Q: How does SafeStudents Online work?

A: SafeStudents Online starts with a database of over 3,000 words covering categories like alcohol, drugs, sex, racism, bullying, depression, suicide, and violence. Our system searches your child’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+ page(s) and sends you a real time e-mail alert if any of those words are found. Your alert includes the word that was found, the context it was used in, and a link to the page or video (if the network SafeStudents Online is monitoring is YouTube) if you want to check it out further. SafeStudents Online will also alert you if someone your child has friended appears to be an adult, or if the person has no mutual friends with your child. We will also send out a weekly recap to summarize your child’s social networking activity over the week.

Q: How do I start monitoring my child? / How do I start getting alerts?

A: Log In. Click the Add A Child link on the left side of the page. The first step will be to provide your child’s name and email address. (The name is used to help you identify which child’s alerts you are viewing. The email address is only used if you ask SafeStudents Online to send the child an email to assist in installing the SafeStudents Online app on their social network account.) The second step is to select a social network you want to monitor – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or Google+ (you can add more once you complete the first one). Then follow the step by step instructions for installation.  Once the SafeStudents Online app has been installed it can take up to 48 hours to start receiving alerts.

Q: Should I tell my child I am searching their site?

A: Yes. We encourage that you are open about the fact that you may see some of the information your child posts online. You shouold let your child know you are not spying on them, and you only receive alerts if inappropriate material is posted. The more open communication with your child is, the less likely they are to try to be sneaky to avoid your good parenting.

Q: Does using SafeStudents Online violate my child’s privacy?

A: No, SafeStudents Online actually helps you maximize their privacy by allowing them the freedom to post where and when they want without having you read every single post. SafeStudents Online only alerts you when problematic content is posted, so if the content on their page isn’t inappropriate you won’t have to review it. Remember, the content posted by your child can be copied, passed along or shared and become very publicly available information. Content posted on social media can seriously impact your children and their reputation. It makes sense to monitor their activity.

Q: How do I change my profile information

A: Log in at and click on My Account in up right corner.

Q: Will SafeStudents Online work if my child has his/her page set to private or friends only?

A: Yes. SafeStudents Online uses an app that is installed on your child’s social network account. When installed, that app gives SafeStudents Online the permissions it needs to monitor your child’s account.

Q: Who is covered by my SafeStudents Online account?

A: Your SafeStudents Online account allows you to set up and monitor all of your dependent children.

Q: What if I change my email address?

A: If you change your email address you can update it by logging in at and selecting the My Account link in the upper right corner. When you change your email address, it will automatically become your new User ID and the primary email address for alerts.

Q: I’m Friended by my child so why do I need SafeStudents Online?

A: Being connected to your child’s social network account by being “friended” or “following” them is a great start. But SafeStudents Online is a great tool in addition to that because: 1) it allows you to monitor even content your child might use privacy settings to hide from you; and 2) helps you filter through enormous amounts of content your child might be posting to see just the content that might be problematic. Our goal is to help make it faster and easier for you to know when potential problems occur so you can talk with your child about them.

Q: I’ve got my child’s username and password why do I need SafeStudents Online?

A: Having your child’s username and password is a great start. But who wants to risk their child’s safety because they didn’t have the time to check out every page of the child’s social network accounts, read each post, or check out each photo. That’s where SafeStudents Online comes in. Our goal is to make it easy for you to know when problematic content is being posted. We alert you via email when they friend an adult, and when problematic content is posted on their page by them or about them (by bullies).  Timely alerts allow you to have meaningful discussions with your child about any of that content that concerns you.

Q: I’ve got Internet filtering software. Why do I need SafeStudents Online?

A: Internet filtering software only monitors your child’s activity on the computer it is installed on. Your child has access to their social network accounts from many other locations – a friend’s house, their smart phone, school, etc. SafeStudents Online allows you to monitor their social network activity regardless of where they access from and we alert you whenever problematic content is found.

Q: Can I customize the keywords that are searched?

A: Absolutely! SafeStudents Online understands that every child is unique, and every family has different rules for parenting their children. That’s why we give you the final control on customizing what you want to monitor – adding, deleting, and even editing the search words. We start with a database of over 3,000 keywords on topics like alcohol, drugs, bullying/depression, violence, profanity, racism, and sex. We have even created a Personal List where you can store new terms that may not fit the existing categories. We encourage parents to include cell phone numbers and home addresses in the personal list if they want to be notified when a child is posting private information like that on their social networking accounts. To view or edit the words searched, when logged in, click on the Alert Words searched tab.

Q: Who are the alerts sent to?

A: SafeStudents Online alerts are always sent to the email address listed as your Username. If you would like alerts sent to additional email addresses you can add those to the alert distribution list by logging in and selecting the Alert Settings tab and editing the Email Alert Recipients List.

Q: Will SafeStudents Online work if my child has their page set to “private”?

A: Yes, SafeStudents Online is an app that is installed on their social network account. The app gives us permission to monitor the child’s posts, comments, photos, etc. So even if their account is set to “private” we will be able to alert you on inappropriate activity.

Q: What happens if my child deletes the SafeStudents Online app?

A: If your child deletes the SafeStudents Online app, you will receive an alert with instructions on how to reinstall the app.

For Kids

Q: What is SafeStudents Online?

A: SafeStudents Online is a parental monitoring tool that helps your parents protect you from potential online dangers, such as cyber bullying, cyber stalking and online predators as well helping to protect your reputation. SafeStudents Online is not about spying or invading your privacy; instead, parents and kids should work together to ensure online safety.

Q: Can my parents see my profile on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or Instagram with SafeStudents Online?

A: SafeStudents Online allows your parents to know if mean comments are being posted on your profile, or if adults or friends they don’t know are talking to you online. Parents can see your profile and who your online friends are and what photos you post on your profile. Remember, what you post online is not private so you should be careful about what you choose to post.

Q: Why are my parents spying on me?

A: Your parents are doing their best to keep you safe from the potential dangers of social networking. Your parents want to work with you to make sure you have fun online while still following some rules around behavior online. Monitoring your social media is to keep you safe, not to pry into your life. As long as boundaries are respected and your friends (and you) realize some things are not meant to be shared publicly, there will be no issue.

Q: I keep hearing about “privacy settings.” How do I know if my settings are correct?

A: Privacy settings are the ways to control who can see your information. Keep your status and photos private. When in doubt, use the “Preview my profile” button on any privacy settings page to check how your information appears to others. Sit down with your parents to make sure everything is set the way you want it. Facebook and some of the other social networking accounts even let you set privacy rules on every picture, video or comment you post – so make sure you check before you hit enter.

Q: When I post something to my Facebook account, who sees it?

A: This will depend on how you have set your privacy settings. We recommend that only your friends see your posts and pictures. We also recommend that nothing is set to “Public” because that means that everyone on the Internet can see it. Remember this when using other sites like online photo accounts including Snapfish or Picasso.

Q: What kinds of photos are safe to post?

A: Photos you post might seem perfectly innocent to you, but mean something totally different to someone else.  A safe photo to post would be something you would be okay if your parents, teachers, or grandparents saw.  Your account is a reflection of you.  And someday, a college or future employers may also look at your account, so make sure you only post things you would want them to see or know about you. And always remember, once you put a photo them on a social networking site, it can be copied, shared and posted by others – even if you mark it private.

Q: How can I remove something I don’t want posted, like a mean comment or photo?

A: If this is something you posted, you can normally delete it pretty easily from your account by clicking on it and then selecting “delete” or “remove”. If it’s a comment someone posted to your page, click on the comment and an “X” will pop up in the upper right corner. You can delete the comment there.  Deleting photos is just as easy.  If a friend tags you, you can remove the tag. You can even ask your friend to remove the photo entirely if you’re uncomfortable with it.  But remember, once things are posted to the Internet you can never really be certain that they have been deleted. Someone could have already forwarded the message or photo to others or saved it to their computer. Remember to stop, reread and think twice before posting anything online.

Q: I feel bad saying “NO” if people request to follow me or be my friend.

A: Your social network account is your world. Just as you can minimize interacting with people you don’t know or like in real life (or as much as possible, anyway!), you can and should do so on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking accounts. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for your choice. If someone tries to force the issue and bully you into being their “friend”, it just proves why you don’t want them in your world.

Q: My parents say I can’t be connected to adults online, even my teachers or coaches. Why?

A: Adults post comments that may be appropriate for other adults and may be inappropriate for children and teenagers. Think of it like a PG, PG-13 or R-rated movie. Some things are meant just for adults because they include adult content. Also, adults you might be connected to cannot control what other adults post, therefore, they cannot control what you see.

Q: What should I do if I think someone I don’t know is trying to contact me?

A: The Internet is a place where anyone can contact you, whether you know them or not. So, when you use Facebook or Twitter, play a video game with an internet connection or visit “chat” websites, you might come across people you do not know.  Do not engage in discussion with these people. Also, do not give them your address, phone number or any other personal information.

Q: A classmate is posting mean comments on my profile. What should I do?

A: If someone is posting hurtful messages to you or about you online, you can ignore, unfriend or block that user in order to avoid contact with them. If the person doesn’t stop, you should talk to an adult who you trust – your parents, a family member, a teacher or even the school guidance counselor. Even online, these types of comments can really hurt, and your parents and teachers are here to protect you.

Q: How do I know if I am being cyberbullied? How is it different than teasing?

A: Cyberbullying is intentional, repeated, mean behavior that occurs online or other digital means like texting. The comments, pictures or posts are meant to be hurful. Cyberbullying can include taunting, name calling, threats or intimidation, insults based on race, gossip or any other behavior that you want to stop because it upsets you. Teasing between friends is not meant to be hurt someone’s feeling, it’s more playful, but can escalate to bullying when one person is no longer having have fun.  For example, if the teasing continues even after the person being teased has repeatedly asked the person to stop, that teasing could now be called cyberbullying.

Q: What should I do if someone is bullying me?

A: Tell your parents or another trusted adult immediately. Don’t keep it to yourself.  Don’t reply to messages from cyberbullies – even though you may really want to!  They want to know that they’ve got you worried and upset. Also, do not delete the messages so you can show your parents the comments you are referring to.

Q: My friend is posting comments about suicide and I am worried about them. What should I do?

A: Tell your parents, teachers or another trusted adult immediately. If you know of someone who is sharing thoughts or feelings of committing suicide don’t assume that the person is just kidding or not being serious about their feelings. It is extremely important that you act quickly and tell someone in authority so you can get them the help they need to deal with the emotions their feeling.