Each day one billion names are searched on Google. And nearly 80 percent of job recruiters are required to research job applicants online.
Now more and more schools and colleges are doing the same, so it’s more important than ever for not just adults but teenagers to improve their online image.
We looked into what steps parents can take to better their children and themselves online, even if you’re clueless about computers.
Parents like Carol Nash in Gaffney never had to worry about online reputations growing up. But she quickly learned the world her kids and foster kids live in is one where every online choice leaves an immortal digital footprint.
“He posted in March and they found it in May, because I was brought into the school in May. So yeah, they must monitor it,” said Nash.
14-year-old Brayden Callaway got suspended after posting insults about his middle school principal.
“I was just mad at them, so I just decided to go on the app catalog and say some bad stuff,” said Callaway.
“I was upset because he’s not raised that way,” said Nash.
Patrick Ambron, the CEO of the Online Reputation management firm, Brand Yourself urges parents to start thinking like the growing number of schools and colleges that sniff out everything from online bullying to incriminating photos.
“The two biggest things that students or young people come up against that end up hurting them are, just generally poor communication skills, followed closely by jokes taken out of context,” said Ambron.
Brand Yourself has a free online guide on how to educate your child and improve Google search results.
And it recommends strategies for deleting negative posts from others. The company will also do it for you for a $100 “student makeover” fee.
Building up a positive online presence is just as important as getting rid of the bad stuff. For that you’ll need your own website, and a well thought out linked in page.
So while there’s little hope of separating the teenage mind from bad decisions, parents who monitor their child in the virtual world, will help them succeed in the real one.