Help your Teen Stay Smart on Social Media

Posted on October 01 2016

It is not uncommon for universities and employer to conduct extensive background checks on students, and it is completely legal for them to check social media sites as well. While no student is expected to be perfect, it is important that they are thinking about how their activity on social media represents them.

There are few things that you can do as a parent to make sure that their social media posts today will not negatively affect their education or job prospects in the future.

Understand privacy settings

If your teen is on Facebook encourage them to view their profile page as a member of the public, and ask a friend of family member to go to their page and look for anything that could misinterpreted.
This should be done regularly as Facebook privacy settings auto-update on a regular basis; students who think they have their profile settings set to the highest possible privacy could be showing their every move without even knowing.

Use the Parent or Grandparent Test

Users should think about how their mom and dad or even better yet their grandparents would feel if they saw a certain post or picture. If your kids know that you would not approve, then it is likely a university or employer would not either, and it does not need to be on Facebook.

Look over old posts

Encourage your child to briefly but effectively search any posts they have put online in the past year, and take down anything that may seem negative or that may be a misrepresentation of them.

Google Search

The most powerful search engine in the world is google; it is a great tool for researching anything or anyone. Your teen should google themselves before applying to a school or job. This will help you to show your teen just how quick another person can locate your child’s personal information.

Some other ways to help your teen be smart on social media are to be proactive about creating a positive online presence, be aware of what their friends are posting, and encourage them to vent in person and not online.