Taking care of your child's online reputation4:39 PM
My tween is tech savvy just like any other kid his age. He has a Facebook account, email addresses for both Yahoo and Google, and Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare and 9Gag accounts. Before he got to register all of these accounts, we already have an agreement that I will need to have access to these accounts. I felt that I needed to do that to protect his online reputation.
Teens nowadays are not like how we were when we were younger. They now have access to the Internet which makes them easy prey to online bad guys and bullies. Obviously, we can't ban them from using the Internet because they also need to be in the know. What we can do is to help them take care of their online reputation.
A clean online reputation is just as important as taking care of your reputation in the offline world. Just imagine, 10 to 15 years from now, these teens will be looking for jobs and head hunters would definitely be searching their name up in the Internet. Would you want them to read shameful texts and see embarassing photos of your child? I don't think so.
Here are some things that you can do to help your child take care of his/her online reputation:
- Be as tech savvy when it comes to social media. You should be very familiar on how social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, works. Learn how to tweak the privacy settings of your accounts. Maybe you can ask help from your son/daughter and use it as an opportunity to discuss about online privacy.
- Encourage your child to be open about his/her online activities. Be a friend and let them talk about their Facebook friends or share about what they have read on Twitter. Show interest and start a discussion about what he/she shared. That way, there will be no more mysterious friends/followers and you'll have more peace of mind.
- Do your research. Google your child's name and see what you can discover about him/her. If you find something that you don't like or if you feel that he/she has overshared information, talk about having it deleted or to have its privacy limited. Set up a Google Alerts on your child's name and nickname so you'll receive emails if someone has written or posted about him/her.
- Seek the experts' help. If ever you think that your child's privacy has been compromised, report it to the authorities (I think in our case, it's the NBI). If you have the budget, you can avail of the services of firms like Reputation.com that takes care of cleaning the bad and overshared information in the Internet.