Archive for April, 2012
In the current digital age, 95% of all teens are online and 80% of them have had various opportunities to share their personal information and create content on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Many of these teenagers don’t realize the importance of maintaining a positive online reputation. Their focus is the present and they usually don’t consider the consequences of their internet activities. If careless, a teen’s digital footprint can have long term negative effects ranging from lost job opportunities to denied college admissions.
As early as 2006 reports began to surface indicating that colleges were conducting internet searches to learn about potential applicants. A simple Google search provides all kinds of information about an individual’s reputation including everything they’ve posted about themselves on websites, blogs or Facebook pages. In addition, a search will turn up information that others have posted about them. If a teen’s online reputation is less than positive, it could have severe consequences on their future aspirations.
It takes planning and time to develop a solid online reputation and only an instant to lose it. Parents can help their teen develop a positive image by raising awareness and teaching them to create and maintain the kind of online profile that will present them in the best possible light.
Tips To Help Teens Manage a Positive Online Reputation:
- Monitor – As a parent your role is to be a gatekeeper. Monitor privacy controls and be aware of your teen’s online environment.
- The Power of First Impressions – Encourage your teen to explore social networks before jumping right in and connecting with others. Check it out first to see if this a positive place where you’d want your teen to make their presence known. If not, search for another network that’s a better fit.
- Posting Pictures & Videos – Tell your teen that if they wouldn’t want Grandma to see it, they shouldn’t post it! This doesn’t mean they can only post pictures or videos of puppies and kittens. Most likely your teen has enough common sense to know what’s inappropriate and what’s not. Also advise them not to post inappropriate pictures or videos of anyone else.
- PR Activities To Manage a Personal Brand – When your teen is online, have them emphasize their accomplishments and other positive information such as artistic achievements or talents, hobbies and community service projects. Have them write blog posts on these accomplishments or provide links to extracurricular activities. Besides building a positive online presence, this will provide a way to interact with others who share the same interests. When done correctly, age-appropriate postings emphasizing your teen’s strengths can help distinguish their job or college application from the pack.
- Google Alerts – Set up a Google Alerts subscription. This free service sends you updates whenever Google finds a new link related to the search terms you provide. Enter your teen’s name and any nicknames as well as other terms connected to relevant activities and organizations.
Before your teenager does something foolish that might ruin any future prospects, be a proactive parent and give them the right tools to express themselves in a positive light to create a future that you can both be proud of!
Add comment April 25, 2012
A well-designed search engine for kids will have a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate, appeals to children of all ages and most importantly provides an environment where they can safely surf the internet. Search engines for kids are specifically designed to restrict the results returned from a child’s query, filtering out inappropriate material such as explicit sexual content, violence, hate speech, gambling and drug sites.
If you’re concerned about what your child sees online, the following dedicated search engines will be of interest. They filter out inappropriate content that some parents and teachers find unacceptable for a minor to view.
- Awesome Library – Containing a directory and index, Awesome Library organizes the web with 37,000 carefully reviewed resources including the top 5 percent in education.
- KidsClick – Just like being at the library, this search engine (created by librarians) uses cataloged resources that provide objective, age appropriate information that makes it easy for kids to understand current event topics.
- Quintura For Kids – This visual and intuitive search engine runs a search and then translates the results into a tag cloud (map) on the screen. The images help refine the search and make it fun.
- KidRex - A search engine powered by Google Custom Search for kids. The interface has a colorful, hand-drawn crayon and colored marker design making it fun to use for kids in Kindergarten – 3rd grade. This search engine uses SafeSearch which filters objectionable content, keywords, phrases and websites to keep search results clean.
- Yahooligans – Operated by Yahoo, this website is more than a directory. Filled with games, movies, reference, parents and teachers’ Guides. Each site has been checked by experienced educators and the target audience is children between the ages of 7 – 12.
- Google - If you have a Google account, you can create your own kid-safe search engine by using Google Custom Search Creator.
The internet is a fascinating place but it also can be dangerous for children if they’re not supervised. Parental discretion is advised and these sites can help you protect your child when they’re online.
8 comments April 3, 2012