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Helping Your Tween Protect Their Online Reputation

by T Akery | August 1st, 2013 | Tweens

searchYour online reputation is a big deal to potential employers, potential opportunity and other things. For your tween, their online reputation is what could make or break their future. While it sounds a little extreme to say that, it is a truth that parents can no longer avoid. Nothing on the internet is ever truly erased. What your tween posts today can very easily haunt them tomorrow. Your job as a parent is to help them navigate a world that never forgets anything.

If you have no idea what your tween’s online reputation is, you can start with a simple search of your tween’s name. Yes, you will have to sort through a lot of irrelevant people. But it is one of the best ways to discover what is showing up for your tween. If your tween has a common name, you might want to narrow your search by adding in your area.

Another thing you want to do is an image search. Remember, those photos on Facebook and Instagram are not private. Unless you have really clamped down hard on the privacy settings, your tween’s picture may be the subject of an ebook or an erotic picture. Yes, people will steal your tween’s image for sick and twisted purposes. While you can’t erase everything, you can address the sites that your tween’s photo appears on and have them take it down. If your tween is posting pictures, make sure that you double and triple check the privacy settings. Even photos that appear on Twitter have the potential to be reused.

This doesn’t mean that they can’t post pictures. But it does mean that you should be paying very close attention to who is viewing them. If they want to post pictures for family and friends, it is best to set up an account where access is limited to those with a password. Discourage them from posting on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any other social networking site that has dubious wording about the legality of the use of photographs.

Remember, you as a parent also have a responsibility with protecting your tween’s online reputation. Just like your tween, you need to be ultra-careful about what you are posting about them. The same thing applies to posting your tween’s photographs. Stick to a site that guarantees your privacy, doesn’t share things and has very clear terms about who owns what.

Your tween’s online reputation is very important. It will follow them throughout their careers. Colleges and employers are starting to search the web to get a feeling about who people are. Even if things were posted years ago, it doesn’t take much to turn off a prospective employer or that college recruiter. Remember that once something is posted, you never really know where it is going to eventually end up.

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