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We live in a world where online stains can persist for years. This is why we now have to consider whether our children are unknowingly creating a negative reputation for themselves whenever they go online.
Cleveland lawyer Aaron Minc says that this is one of the greatest challenges facing the youth of today. Employers frequently look up people and if they find something they don’t like, an otherwise perfect candidate could miss the job.
So how should you go about helping your child manage their reputation online?
Promote Safe Internet Practices
You should sit down with your children and make it clear of the risks that come with posting certain types of content online. Don’t just tell them not to do something. Explain to them why it’s in their best interests not to do something. Treat them like adults.
At the same time, you should sit down with them and make it clear what safe Internet practices are. Follow them yourself and set an example.
Protect their Accounts
Believe it or not, your online reputation isn’t just about what you post. It’s also about the security of your online presence. If someone breaks into your child’s Facebook account they can post practically anything. By the time the account is locked down, the damage has already been done.
This means you should go out of your way to protect their accounts through solid password practices and securing their electronic devices.
Monitor Them Yourself
Many situations in which online reputations are destroyed happen because of ignorance. Young people are finding their way in the world and they may not know what’s appropriate or not. This is especially true if their friends are posting inappropriate content.
We mentioned that you should treat them like adults. But at the same time, they’re still children. They need parental guidance. So how do you balance their desire for privacy while at the same time protecting them?
Lawyer Aaron Minc says, “These days there’s software that allows parents to discreetly monitor their children’s online presence. This gives them the privacy they want while giving parents the peace of mind they need.”
These software options are especially useful if your children won’t add you as connections on the various social media networks.
Watching and Removing Damaging and Inaccurate Entries
It’s not only ignorance that destroys online reputations. Sometimes your child may become the victim of a malicious attack from someone they know. It can be devastating to watch this happen, but as a parent, you can take action to limit the damage.
You should consider setting up a Google Alert for your child’s name. Include their full name and any nicknames. If this name appears on Google you will get an automatic email directing you to the entry in question.
After you find the offending entry you can take steps to remove it, in most cases.
Sometimes this is as simple as sending a message to the site’s administrator and they’ll take the content down. However, you may have to resort to legal action to have the entry removed.
Protect Your Child’s Reputation
We know that sometimes you’re unable to remove offending entries online. This may make you feel powerless, but the truth is that online reputation works both ways.
People can attempt to take away from someone’s reputation. At the same time, you can do a lot to protect it. Publishing positive stories about your child, or even just touting their achievements online is an excellent way of projecting them in a positive manner.
A few negative stories can be buried deep within the recesses of the Internet if you do your best to promote your child’s positive qualities.
Last Word – It’s About Protection
You don’t have to look at your child like a brand. But through briefing them on the risks and doing what you can to protect them you’re defending them in the years ahead.
It’s important for parents to take control when it comes to matters like this. Be proactive and implement safe Internet practices in your own life.
Do you have any additional tips for making sure that you protect your child’s reputation when they enter the online world?