May 29, 2013

Teaching Your Teen How to Manage His Online Reputation

Like most parents of teens, you’ve probably worked hard to help your adolescent develop a good reputation “in the real world.” You’ve likely talked to him about the importance of being polite and respectful to adults, how to choose good friends, and of course the all-too-important but often neglected hygiene issue. Unfortunately, even if you’ve been successful at all of the above, it’s still possible that your teen can develop a bad reputation online, unless of course, you’re proactive about the issue.

### More Teens Are Taking Responsibility for Their Online Reputations

A PEW Internet study released last week revealed good news—many teens are already taking responsibility for their online reputations. The results of the study published in The Huffington Post indicated that not only have 57% of teens thought twice before posting information that may one day come back to haunt them, but 59% have deleted such risky information from their social media profiles.

### Breaking News! Teens DO Listen to Their Parents!

It’s a common misconception that adolescents turn a deaf ear to their parents’ advice. The study’s focus group revealed the opposite, however. Teens who were surveyed said that they were keenly aware that their parents and other adults were scrutinizing the information they shared online, and that this helped them to self-correct when they feel tempted to post something potentially offensive or off-putting.

### What to Tell Your Teens About Online Reputation Management

The fact that teens are considering the importance of keeping their online reputations in check is great news, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t need your continual guidance. Talk to them often about what they’re posting online and remind them that what they post is public. Tell them that you understand their need to be social online, but that their interactions should always be positive and respectful. After all, college recruiters—and eventually employers—will one day be scouring their profiles, so it’s imperative to keep them clean!

As a final note, it’s important to realize that online reputation management isn’t only about minimizing the negative. It’s equally vital to establish a positive online presence. Author and parent advocate Sue Scheff recommends encouraging your teen to start a blog or website showcasing his or her interests and accomplishments.

Is your teen’s online reputation up to par? Find out by monitoring his Internet activity with Qustodio!

How can Qustodio help protect your family?

Qustodio is the best way to keep your kids safe online and help them create healthy digital habits. Our parental control tools ensure they don't access inappropriate content or spend too much time in front of their screens.