If you are wondering how to:
- Help your child know what should and should not be shared online
- Help your child know how to create a digital footprint
- How to showcase their abilities and talents without faking anyone else
- Educate your children to manage their digital footprints
These 6 tips below will you know what does it mean to have a positive digital footprint and help your children create a positive digital footprint online!
Parenting guide: 6 tips to help your children create a positive digital footprint
Words do hurt. Thinking before sending
Face-to-face communication allows us to rely on nonverbal cues to better interpret the conversations. When children communicate via messaging or commenting, they can’t see the other person’s reactions to what they are saying.
So certain words or punctuation may imply (negatively) different meanings than when they are spoken directly.
That’s why what happens online tends to be rougher, tougher. The evidence is that shamming or hurting others is common on social media, known as cyberbullying.
You need to regularly remind your children to re-reading the messages, comments, captions, and status they are about to send or post because what they are going to make public can seriously affect their friends or other people, even in the worst cases, your children are contributing to making them commit suicide.
In short, treat others the ways they want to be treated. they should never say anything about anyone they wouldn’t want others to say about them – and remember that nasty comments may reflect on them for years to come.
When building a positive digital footprint, one of the most important tips is not to send, or share explicit sexual images/videos of themselves. Lots of children sext nowadays. Here are some reasons why they sext:
- Exploring sex, gender, and relationships
- Express sexual feelings with sexual photos will show their love and trust in their partners
- Peer pressure – everybody is doing it
Let your child know that when they engage in sexting behavior that the other person (under 18) creates an indecent image or they (under 18) create those photos, which is illegal.
It’s like a digital footprint, even if you delete something you post right away, it remains forever online.
Your children’s reputation is now negatively affected both at school and in their community. It may affect their career possibilities in the future.
Delete unused profiles
When your children stop using a social media profile, it’s a good idea to deactivate or delete their accounts. Once they do it, the accounts will no longer be searchable. However, as we have mentioned digital footprints, deleting does not always mean truly deleting. It can remain forever on the Internet.
That’s why: decent online behaviors are crucial!
For fake accounts that use your children’s images, here are some ways that can be helpful for them:
To report on Facebook, your children have to use their real name as it appears on their ID. Facebook requires you to scan:
- An image of government ID (driving license or passport)
- A notarized statement verifying your ID
- A copy of a police report about your claim
You can learn more about how to report an impostor account on Facebook.
You can instruct your children to fill in this form and provide a photo of your child holding his/her ID.
Your children just need to visit Snapchat Support and follow the instructions.
Be kind on social media
If being kind on social media is as easy and simple as people may think, it will never have to cyberbully, it will never have people suffer digital self-harm.
As we mentioned above, leaving comments, and sending messages through online platforms makes us less care about other person’s feelings, so we tend to say more hurtful words to them.
That’s why one of the most important digital footprint safety tips: encourage your kids to compliment friends and leave constructive comments on other people’s blogs and promote others’ efforts.
If something is contradicting, just simply accept that everyone is different, they can’t and won’t force people to be like them, and respect each other.
Sometimes, the best thing they can do is not do anything, just ignore it. You can learn more about social etiquette for children to help them build a positive digital footprint.
Be authentic. Be themselves!
Although the internet allows children to be anyone online, it does not mean they have to fake anyone else.
As your children can be affected by peer pressure or beauty standards from KOLs, or any “social media” invisible standards, it’s crucial to encourage them to be themselves and positively take advantage of social platforms to showcase who they are, what they are good at (skills, talents, etc.) or even write a blog on topics they are passionate about.
Quality is more important than quantity
During adolescence, children are more dependent on relationships with friends than parents, so to get more followers or interactions, most children will be more inclined to overshare on social media: from meals, and coffee, to life conception, and so on.
The more they share, the more confidential and private information your child will reveal so that they can still be saved and used by those who hate them to damage their reputation later.
Teach your children that the fewer people see you in that virtual world, the more you make them think about you!
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