Tip 3: Your Online Reputation

TIP 3: Talk to your children about their online reputation and how the choices that they make can follow them.

When communicating online, decisions about what to post are often made in the heat of the moment and this can lead to information being shared that members of your family might regret after the fact.

Whilst it is possible to delete these posts, comments, photos or videos from personal accounts, the moment these posts are published online other users can copy or share them and your family won’t have control over what happens to them. It’s important to be aware that some Social Media sites have the right to use your information or photos collected on their site without informing you, and this may impact your child well into their adult life.

It is also important to discuss as a family that one-on-one conversations such as direct messages, texts or private chat rooms can be recorded and shared.

Conversation starters to help you discuss this with your children:

  • Imagine that you are making a poster and then putting it in a busy spot where a lot of people can see it. Now, just say you changed your mind about what was on the poster and decided to take it down. Does this mean that no one has ever seen it? Can you see how this situation is similar to posting something online?
  • Why is it a good idea to really think about what you are going to post before posting it? Are there times when it is probably better not to post anything at all?
  • What kind of posts/comments/photos etc. are you likely to regret making public? Can we come up with ways to try and avoid this from happening?