Should You Be Worried About Your Child’s Digital Reputation?

Are you Worried About Your Child’s Digital Reputation?

Unless you’ve been living in an isolated hut for the past year, entirely disconnected from modern society and surrounded by goats, you’ll have heard the cautionary tale of Paris Brown. For a brief, glittering moment Ms Brown was the very first youth police commissioner at the age of 17, now she is the girl who ruined it all with a homophobic tweet from her 14 year old self. Following the unearthing of Brown’s Twitter profile, along with the homophobic, racist, violet and drug related messages she had posted in her erstwhile youth, the 17 year old resigned from her post in a merciless media storm.


Worried About Your Child’s Digital Reputation

Our online pasts can come back to haunt us. For young people today, this is more true now than ever before. Digital parenting blogs loffer clear guidance to parents looking to keep their children safe online, but sometimes it’s our children, with all their youthful naïveté and clumsiness, who pose the biggest danger to themselves.


Worried About Your Child’s Digital Reputation

Why worry? 

From stupid messages to inappropriate photos and embarrassing videos, there are all sorts of ways in which the online past could affect your child’s offline future. And, worryingly, it’s only going to get easier for their online output to be traced back to them.

Face recognition software is already part of the Facebook offering and these technologies will only become more sophisticated in time. Meanwhile, Google are coming along in great strides as they try to create a more joined up web. This means that, very soon, everything you do online could be linked to just one identifiable account. This is great for functionality, but very bad news for online privacy.

Although privacy settings can be changed and information can be deleted, there is always the possibility that someone else may have downloaded or saved your upload. If you are not directly responsible for uploading something to the web, it can be extremely difficult to have that information removed, even if you are named and pictured in it.

Employers can and do check out candidates’ online presences. Most people now have accounts like Facebook set to private, but if such accounts are open to the public, it’s important that you are comfortable with a potential employer seeing everything on your profile.

How can you help if you are worried About Your Child’s Digital Reputation

Worried About Your Child’s Digital Reputation

  • Think  before you tweet

    It’s important for children to understand that everything they do online has an effect and could impact their future. It’s so easy to fire off a tweet, upload a picture or pen a blog post, which means that many young ‘uns just don’t think. Encouraging them to “think before they tweet” (or blog or message or upload etc.) will hopefully help to filter some the information they are putting online.

  • Check your digital footprint

    Take the opportunity to sit down with them and Google their name. If your child is called Dan Brown, they’re probably safe but, if they have a more unusual name they could be unpleasantly surprised by the amount of information about them that is out there and easily accessible.

  • Privacy, privacy, privacy

    Above all, make sure they know all about privacy settings. Encourage them to make absolutely everything private. That means Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, their personal blog – everything they upload online should only be accessible by those they trust. Check out and their e safety tips to get savvier about privacy settings.


More advice here

Worried About Your Child’s Digital Reputation is a feature post 




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