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How to help your kids make a good digital first impression

April 11, 2013 at 10:30 AM ET

You don't get a second chance to make a digital first impression. You may have taught your kids how to shake hands and look people in the eye, but their social media profile might sabotage their future success. Faye de Muyshondt founder of socialsklz.com, offers these tips for parents:

  1. If your child isn't yet online, make their first online experience and first social media experience one that you embark on together.
  2. If your child is already online, know what social media sites he/she is using.
  3. Become active yourself on those sites, even if it's just for a few weeks. Sign up and engage in the way your child is socializing. Knowledge is power.
  4. Discuss the concept of a first impression, both face-to-face and face-to-Facebook. A digital first impression is just as important as an in-person first impression in the modern world.
  5. Together with your child, open his or her social media accounts and take a look at status updates and photos. Are they appropriate?
  6. Have privacy settings been properly set up in each of those social media accounts? Go in as a "non-friend" or view how the public sees your child. What can the public see?
  7. Talk with your child about the Internet and modern communication, and make that dialog part of a weekly check-in with your child. The Internet and social media shouldn't be overlooked as part of knowing what's happening in your child's world.
  8. Set up Google alerts for your child's name; this will notify you via email, of what pops up on Google for your child's name.
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