How to help manage our children reputation online

When I was growing up the closest I got to technology was my Nintendo Snoopy Tennis, which was at the time awesome as noone else I knew had it. My favourite uncle and techno whiz got it for me when I was just 6 years old.

There was no internet back then either, although us French had the Minitel.

There was no mobile phone when I was a teen and if you wanted to communicate with a friend the easiest would be the home phone which, if you were lucky was cordless, so you could take it to your bedroom and have a private conversation about who you fancied or what clothes you were going to wear for the party at the weekend.

The world couldn’t look more different 25 years later than since I was a teen.

Don’t get me wrong I love this world for all the opportunities it gives me to work and communicate with people in totally different places and for breaking the isolation you can experience when you work from home. I love the internet and I would be very hypocritical if I said the opposite considering that I write blogs, manage Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google + accounts (I still don’t like LinkedIn).

Every now and then I wonder how I can prepare my children for when they become active online. They are only 4 and 5 yo but lets be honest, it won’t be that long before they start asking to have accounts on social networks. Once their friends start using them they will want to as well. I am an avid user but I am not in any rush to start discovering the online world.

I have to be honest and say that generally press releases sent in mass and landing in my inbox don’t tend to attract much of my attention, except for the rare few that hit a nerve, like this one. I know it will for other parents as well.

It was written by Mark Hall of and here are the tips he gives to help managing our children reputation online:

Lesson 1- On the web private information is not so private

Explain to your kids that every time they update their Facebook status, upload a photo, or send a tweet, their private information has entered the public domain.

Even if they delete the photo or remove the tweet, it is more than likely that a problem wont go away: A friend could have re-tweeted or passed on the information, a photo could have been copied onto another site, and that joke they thought might have gained a couple of new followers might rebound on them. The end result is the same – things tend to stick around for a long time in cyberspace. What your child may think is private between their friends becomes public.

Lesson 2- Your child’s activity and what they share online becomes their permanent record

Every school pupil has lived in fear of damaging their permanent record where every little thing they ever did  – good or bad – was kept in a filing cabinet in the school office.

Now there’s a new kind of permanent record – the information your child shares online, and content that mentions them,which could be used against them later on in life. University admissions, employers, even potential dates will be able to view this information and form an opinion of your child without their knowledge.

Your child needs to know what to keep private, not only about themselves, but those around them.

Lesson 3 – Play nice, children

It has never been easier to communicate. For the most part, the advantages are clear to see, but the information explosion has also seen a dramatic rise in cyber-bullying.

Insults posted on social media sites can be just as hurtful and damaging as saying and doing something in real life. Social media insults can be worse, as the damage follows both the victim and the culprit around. It will always be in their pocket on a smart phone, and because everybody is more connected, there can 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

It is simple to start monitoring your child’s name and mentions online. There are many free tools such as Google Alerts, Social Mention or even simple searches on Twitter 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 should never be considered a bad idea. Educating your child early on about 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.

Most importantly, don’t be devious about what you are doing. Let your child know you are watching their back online, but make it clear you have no interest in invading their privacy. The concerned parent should pay just as much attention to their children’s online life as they do to their welfare in the real world. And no, there need not be tantrums.

School’s out! You can find more free helpful information on how to manage your personal reputation, or that of your business at

You can read the full Article here .