How to manage your children’s reputation online

Lesson 1

On the web private information is not so private.

You must explain to your kids that every time they update their Facebook status, upload a photo or send a tweet that the information becomes public information.

Even if they delete the photo or remove the tweet, its more than likely that a problem wont go away, a friend could of re tweeted the information, a photo could of been copied onto another site or a multitude of other things may happen. The end result is the same, things tend to stick around for a long time in cuber space. What your child may think is private between their friends is in fact public information.

Lesson 2

Your child’s activity and what they share online becomes their permanent record.

We already remember the rumors that somewhere in the school safe, lived a big book with your name on it. That had in it everything little thing you ever did wrong and was called your permanent record.

Well now that rumor is true, the information that is shared online by your child or that mentions them could be used against them later on in life, university admissions, recruitment managers heck even potential dates, will be able to view this information and form an opinion of your child without any further knowledge.

Lesson 3

Play nice children

Its never been easier to communicate, we have text, email, forums, social sites, MSN and the list goes on and on. And for the most part this is great, however due to the rise of such platforms there has also been a dramatic rise in cyber bulling.

Information placed on social media sites is just as hurtful and damaging as saying something and doing something off line, in fact its worse and the damage follows you around, it will always be in your pocket on your smart phone at all times and because the world lives online there will be no avoiding it. Understanding how their actions online affect others should play an important part in your children’s social media education.

Lesson 4

Your child’s brand

Its simple to start monitoring your child’s name and mentions online, there are many free tools such as google alerts, social mention or twitter search that are free services, which will both alert you and give you access to anything that is published about your child.

When it comes to your child’s online reputation, taking proactive steps will never be considered a bad idea for anyone. Educating your child early on about the positive steps to take will put them ahead of the curve against many adults who still operate under the assumption that their reputation online isn’t important.

OK schools out

Adult games time