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What can YOU do to protect your online rep? [video]

This video provides you with tips and advice on what to consider when you are posting information online.

View transcript

Some say that teenagers don’t talk. But we talk more than ever before. We just do it in different ways.

Texts, emails, videos, social media – we’re always connected with each other.

It’s SO great right?

It is when you make it work for you and not against you.

We have to make sure that we get all the good out of our connections – how else would we find out that our favourite artist is coming to town? – but we have to be aware of what we share.

Think about it. We spend a lot of time every day picking out clothes and getting our look just right. We know that how we look affects what people think about us.

Then we spend just a few seconds writing comments or posting pictures online. But how we look there affects what people think about us, too. We all have an online rep.

People don’t have to be with us, or even know us, to see what we post and to judge us based on what they see.

The thing is, with a bad hair day, or a day when the clothes aren’t quite right - it’s just one day and then it’s gone. But a mean online comment or an embarrassing picture on social media can live on, and on, and on.

Online information is sticky. Once it’s there, it’s almost impossible to get rid of. It can be downloaded, twisted, forwarded...

There are NO do-overs online.

So, what can you do?

You can’t control everything, but let’s think about what you can control.

Think before you click!

Take at least as much time to shape your online appearance as you do your physical appearance. Only write, text, or post things that you would want anyone anywhere to see. What was funny on Saturday night may not feel so good on Monday morning.

Here’s the thing: what we send electronically is not always private. Even if you send it to just to one friend, what if you and that friend have a fight? With the push of a button, that person can send your embarrassing information to hundreds of people. Then friends of those friends can see it, too.

You could be the next embarrassing viral video.

So think before you click!

We should all clean up our friends lists. Do you really interact with all of your 500 ‘friends’? Delete people you have never met or have never communicated with, because a friend of a friend of a friend, is really just a STRANGER. Who’s Fred?

Try to make sure that those strangers can’t see things that you don’t want them to see. Check and adjust your privacy settings often.

Don’t share your password, EVER. If someone finds out your password, they could access your account and write anything. They could post something that they think is funny – but you don’t. Or, they could pretend to be you and say mean things about other people.

Don’t tell people where you are. Your location shouldn’t be public information. Remember, when you tell people where you are, you’re also telling them where you’re not.

You never know who’s watching. A parent, a coach, someone you like or the potential boss from your future dream job. They can check your blog or your social media feeds to learn more about you. If your online rep is good, it could be thumbs up. If not, maybe not so much.

Don’t close doors on your future. Keep your options open.

That’s the thing about our online rep – it precedes us and follows us all at the same time. People can check us out before they even meet us. Our words, pictures and videos online – whether we like them or not - can follow us forever.

Don’t close doors on your future. Keep your options open.

We can’t control everything, but let’s think about what we can do.

Teenagers are communicating more than ever before. We’re meeting people from all around the world. We are learning about each other and sharing ideas. And technology will keep making it easier and easier for us to connect.

It’s SO great.

It can be - when you make it work for you.


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