Tips for creating your child's digital persona

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Tips for creating your child's digital persona

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We actually have this generation of kids that are going to have a digital image that starts before they were born. If you think about it, some expectant mothers are so excited, they are posting their sonogram images on the internet. When you think about that, you need to be thinking, if I've started my child's digital persona before they were born; you are being proactive. What are some other things you can do to set them up for success? One of the things I highly recommend, you don't have to do it before they are born, but at some point during childhood or before they go to college, buy their first name, last name, dot com. So, "Bobsmith.com: or Sallysmith.com." That is a great way, in the search engines, to have something come up on the first page. There you can post a resume, if they are looking for a part-time job as a teen or a tween, it's a great place to highlight their skills. You need to be careful, so that you don't have creeps and internet predators on the internet trying to find out information about your kid. Use it with care, but it's a great way to put together this positive image. When you think about search engines, if you typically go to results on the first page, they go to the most popular websites on the internet. When you are thinking of setting up this plan, this positive digital persona, be thinking about: What's popular on search engines? That's typically how someone is going to research your kid. What's popular today are sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, may be replace by something else, and your name dot com. So your child's first and last smooshed together if you can get it or some variation. What you can do is put some positive things on these different sites. Think about age appropriateness, protecting them from people who don't know them. You can put things like, "I'm very good at babysittiing." "I'm very good at mowing lawns." Sort of have this little resume that you can post on their domain. You can also, as they get older, set them up on a LinkedIn profile. The same thing with Facebook and other social media that has become popular. This is a great way, as a family, plan what that image is going to look like and promote that persona. Encourage and enforce that. Then when they are going to go out on their own, they've got a great digital image.

View Theresa M. Payton's video on Tips for creating your child's digital persona...

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Theresa M. Payton

National Cyber Security Expert

Theresa Payton is a well-known and highly respected national authority on cybersecurity, e-crime and fraud mitigation, and technology implementation. She has over twenty years of advanced business and security technology expertise and leadership at the highest levels of government and in the financial services industry, including being the first woman to serve as Chief Information Officer at the White House.  She is a wife and mother to three fabulous and fun kids.  She is also the co-author of the newly released book Protecting Your Internet Identity: Are You Naked Online? and the founder of the S.A.F.E. Kids initiative - a classroom-based, digital safety program.

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