| Social media

Helping your child protect their online reputation

| 20 Jan 2023

Helping children understand the long-lasting effects of what they share online and empowering them to take control has never been more important.

Helping children understand the long-lasting effects of what they share online and empowering them to take control has never been more important. What a child posts online can have a real, lasting impact on their lives. Today, the term ‘digital footprint’ is more fitting than ever.

Both schools and employees regularly turn to the likes of Instagram, TikTok and Twitter to learn more about potential candidates. Over seven-in-ten hiring professionals now admit to checking a candidate’s online presence as a way to assess them.

Without guidance, it can be difficult for children to know just what they should and shouldn’t post online. They are at a time in their lives when they are often under pressure from their peers to post certain things to fit in, which can often cloud their judgement.

Luckily, there are some ways you can empower your child to take better control of what they post online so that they can cultivate an online reputation that will highlight their strengths and passions.

The first is to remind your child that nothing remains truly private on the Internet. Close friends may pass on messages they have asked them not to. It is best to remind children never to post anything online they wouldn’t want thousands of people to see. The general rule is: if in doubt, don’t share.

Encourage children not to be tempted to hide behind anonymity and say or do things they know are wrong. Remind them that words hurt and that their actions online can affect both themselves and others. Let them see how you interact with others online so they can learn how to be kind and make safer choices.

Whilst completely erasing a digital footprint is impossible, encouraging your child to deactivate or delete their social networking profiles when no longer used prevents the account from being searchable in the future. However, it is important to remind them that it doesn’t get rid of it completely. Google Photos, for example, is still known to collect information even after the app’s deletion.

To help limit what can be accessed, teach your child about the difference between public and private information online. Review the privacy settings on social media platforms also to ensure they can control who has access to what they share.

There is no doubt that maintaining a good online reputation is a challenge. To learn more about what you and your child can do to ensure their online reputation is optimal, please visit here.

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