I like this new document about guarding your online reputation that has just been jointly published by Reputation Defender and the Internet Keep Safe Coalition (iKeepSafe). They list these "3 Key Tips for Parents" for how to deal with concerns about their children's online safety, privacy, and reputation:
1. Keep Current with Technology: Talk to teachers about what forms of Internet safety tools they implement in computer labs and technology classes, consider these safety tools for home use, and stay up-to-date on the capabilities of any mobile devices your child may have.
2. Keep Communicating with Your Kids: Find out who your child talks to online, educate your kids about the permanence of any "digital footprints" they leave behind, limit the use of social networks, and make it a habit to engage your kids in critical conversation--the more you talk to your kids about their online usage, the more they will learn to use digital products in a safe and healthy manner.
3. Keep Checking Your Kid's Internet Activity: Keep computers in a central public location, check your child's browsing histories, and limit your child's computer time--there's a whole world of outdoor and offline activities where they should be involved!
Specifically, they rightly stress the importance of "encourag[ing] your child to think critically and evaluate sources of online information, and about promises made by other people online." "[M]ake it a habit to engage your kids in critical conversation," they stress. "The more you talk to your kids about their online usage, the more they will learn to use digital products in a safe and healthy manner."
Here are some of the questions they suggest to parents that will help them get these conversations rolling with their kids: