Spring Break, Teens and Online Reputation

Source: HuffingtonPost.com 2/11/13
Author: Sue Scheff

With spring break around the corner, it’s time for parents to remind their teenagers to protect their online reputations. It’s necessary for us to not only talk to our kids about the dangers that they face online, but also to remind them of the importance of their virtual manners. What our children need to understand — especially teens that will be applying to colleges and their first time jobs — is that their online image is just as important as their parent’s or any other adult’s in business today.

We need to encourage our kids to keep it clean online especially when it comes to their social networking on sites such as Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter. Facebook offers privacy settings for Timelines and Tagging, and it is wise to encourage your kids to use them — but to also be wary of the risk of waking up one morning to find that their private photos have suddenly been copied and pasted by a friend turned foe. If someone posts something to their wall that is questionable or inappropriate, your child needs to know that it is okay to remove that post immediately. Your child also has to use caution with what they are posting; the cliché, what you post today can haunt you tomorrow, is absolutely true. Why risk it?

Our children need to learn to ask themselves: Is that picture or post really that important? Is 15 minutes of gratitude worth risking getting into your college of choice or landing a dream job? Are those spring break photos something that you want everyone to view?

When it comes to online reputation our kids should start young in building their own virtual image. Let’s face it, most of them spend a lot of time in cyberspace. Let’s encourage them to spend time building a positive reflection of themselves and start owning their own online real estate.

A simple place to start outside of social networking is building a blog; creating their own blog is actually the beginning of building their virtual real estate. This can be fun, entertaining, and an exciting way to express who they are. (Adults should take note, too. It is never too late to start building your online reputation.)

Takeaway tips for parents:

Online reputation isn’t just for teens. If you are looking for a job, own a business, or are a professional, you are being searched online! It is a fact that more and more people use search engines to poke into your digital image — many won’t give you a second glance if it is tainted. They will go straight to the next candidate. Don’t risk your online reputation, you can maintain it.

With spring break around the corner, take advantage of the four free privacy tools from Reputation.com. We can never be too secure when it comes to our kids.

Full article here: www.huffingtonpost.com

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