What Every Teen Needs to Know About Their Digital Footprint?
In this era, there are fewer people who do not have a digital presence. Be it urban or rural areas teens are more prone to social media. But it is necessary to use social media wisely. Social media helps us to stay connected with family and friends. Social media even helps to connect us with people staying far from us. We can share pictures, videos of our life events and hence sharing happiness with our loved one staying far from us. But when you are sharing some happy moments or pictures via social media make sure that you are sharing only with those people you are willing to share. When a person does not use social media wisely, he or she becomes a victim of cyberbullying. Teens are more vulnerable to cyberbullying because they trust people easily and share their private information with them. Everything has a positive and negative side. Social media also has some negative sides. So teens need to know about their digital footprint and should be responsible for social media.
How Kids Can Improve Their Digital Footprint?
Children need to make sure the digital footprints they are leaving are good ones. No such pictures or videos should be uploaded they are not supposed to be shared. Photos or videos of private parts of the body should not be uploaded to share with anyone using social media. Remember when you are sharing or sending something via social media it is being stored forever. You are going to lose control over it once you send it. Sometimes kids create multiple accounts and most of the time they may use 1 or two and literally forget about the other accounts created by them. You should make a list of the accounts that you are using and delete the ones that are no longer in use. It is sometimes difficult to remember all the different passwords for different accounts. If you get your pictures or the staff shared by you, don’t be surprised because it will remind you what content you have shared publicly. When you are linking your Facebook or Twitter account to any other site, do check the terms and conditions before agreeing to them. Here are a few ways by which children can improve their digital footprint:
1. Always Be Smart When Web Browsing
You need to be smart when you are browsing the web. Google, Facebook, and other sites record every search and every keyword to understand the browsing habits of the user and to determine its user’s marketing demographics. That means every search you do on Google and every web page you visit is being recorded. You might search it on your own laptop or mobile but it is being tracked by the service. There are other search engines as well other than Google. There are less profit-motivating and they generally take better care of the privacy of users.
Another best policy could be to use digital tools to manage a digital footprint of your kids. A good choice could be to browse from behind a virtual private network or VPN. VPN technology has many benefits. VPN technology can help you to protect your online activities and to maintain confidentiality. Virtual Private Network allows you to receive and send data via the internet only and at the same time, it helps in maintaining the privacy of the data based on the level of encryption. You can browse the web, using VPN service in complete anonymity.
2. Turn on Social Media Privacy Settings
You have to ensure that your child’s privacy settings are on. In most of the social media sites, you can choose the audience of your post. So, make sure to choose the audience that is well known to you. You must know how to change the privacy settings on your child’s account. You need to open the ‘Settings’ menu and then click ‘Security and Privacy’. There is a need to choose or limit the audience for your posts. It is better not to allow anyone whom you do not know personally to see your child’s posts. You must have login alerts on so that if you get an alert from an unfamiliar place, you may change the password of the child’s account. In the privacy settings, you can select the audience for the people, pages and lists your child will be following.
3. Be Responsible on Social Media
If someone is looking to collect information about the child, he or she will surely think of checking your social media profiles. So, social media profiles should be managed carefully. Children need to know about their digital footprint and should be responsible for social media. You need to give permission to the apps before installing or using them. It is necessary to check the terms and conditions carefully before granting permission. If they get any security alert, you should change their password immediately. They should always keep themselves away from religious discussions and do not comment on public posts because by doing this you are making your profile visible to unknown persons who are visiting that public post.
In this era of technology, you can’t prevent the child to use social media. Actually, social media can be very helpful if it is used wisely. But there are certain things that children should keep in mind to protect themselves from cyberbullying. A reliable parental control app like iKeyMonitor is what every parent needs. You should limit the audience with whom you are sharing your information, picture or videos. Keeping the password with you is a must. Do not share it with your friends or peer groups. VPN technology can help you to maintain confidentiality while you are browsing the web. It is very much important to be responsible on social media. Above all, children should completely avoid to send or upload personal data that are not supposed to be seen by the world because that is your personal staff.