Teach your kids to protect their “Digital Footprint”
In the digital age, parents have much more protecting to do. We have to teach our children the importance of protecting their precious reputation and their digital footprint, both of which are equally important.
Conversation regarding the protection of digital footprints is a vital one. What goes online stays online forever. And, kids being naive, need to understand what they do now can come back to haunt them later.
Here’s what to talk to your kids about:
Explain to your children to be careful about what they are posting on those social network channels. Billy Idol said, back in the 80’s, that “too much is never enough.” But unlike MTV, too much information on the web is too much.
Emphasize to your children that what they put on the web is there permanently, and they need to really think before hitting send. Because once it’s out there, it’s there forever. Embedded in the DNA of the Internet. Hitting delete doesn’t ever change that.
Privacy is the best policy:
Let your kids know that you really do not want strangers knowing where you live. They should only allow people they know to have that information. Kids also need to realize that the more people know about you, especially in the written word, the more ammunition they have to use against you.
Keep it clean:
Kids are posting way too much online. Provocative and revealing photos and words are best left off the Internet, lest it show up again where you least expect it. Private things are best kept where they belong, in private.
Trolls troll the Internet. They make inappropriate requests and say inappropriate things. Let your kids know not to feed the trolls. In other words, ignore them. Eventually they get bored and go off to find someone else to bother.
In the end, protecting your digital footprint requires a lot of common sense and real life experience. Share yours with your kids.
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