Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Google and Your Teens: Know Your Digital Profile

Know what the Internet is saying about you.
PEW study shows that about 75% of all Americans are using the Internet. More importantly over 53% of people are Googling each other! Do you know what Google and Bing are saying about you?   Do you know what it says about your teenager?  Is he/she virtually dressed for the college or job interview?

Whether your teen is applying to colleges or interviewing for a job, chances are very good that they are being Googled.

•53% of Americans Google each other. Pew Internet & American Life
•26% of college admissions officers use search engines to research candidates. University of Massachusetts Center for Market Research
•64% of teens say that most teens do things online that they wouldn’t want their parents to know about. anti-drug.com
77% of executive recruiters use search engines to research applicants. CareerBuilder

What can you do?  Encourage your teens to be sure they are virtually dressed before an Internet search is done on them!  Another words, don’t get caught naked onlineNaked doesn’t necessarily mean nude – it means inappropriate pictures and language that wouldn’t make your parents or grandparents blush!

Here are some 5 quick tips to start. Remember, the Internet is today’s  information highway and your name has a road sign.

1. Sign up for free services and post your resume or other information that pertains to your services, business, profession etc. Some of these services are Visible.me, LookUpPages.com, Ziggs.com, LinkedIn.com.
2. For teenagers that will be applying for colleges, keep in mind, what you post today can haunt you tomorrow. More and more college admissions are using search engines to research their potential candidates. Take the time to secure your social networking sites and other places you surf.  What does this mean? Keep it clean. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want to show your parents or your grandparents!
3. Be sure to own your own name. Sign up for free services on Blogs with your name as the URL. Blogger.com and WordPress.com are two that are most frequently used. Try to keep them updated as time permits, however owning them is most important.
4. Set up your Google Alerts. You want to know when your name it being used online. This is another free service that will take you minutes to set up and keep you informed when your name is posted on the Internet. Twilert.com is used for Twitter Alerts. This is another free service to be alerted if people are using your name on Twitter.
5. Buy your domain name. This can be minimum in costs and the return will be priceless. Purchasing your name through GoDaddy or another source, can cost you about $9.99 a year (ie: www.suescheff.com). Building a small website can also be cost effective. GoDaddy and Weebly.com offers services to assist you. You may even know someone that can build this for you. Most teens today are very proficient with their technology skills.

Your online resume can literally make or break your interview or acceptance at colleges.  Don’t risk it,  keep your virtual presence alive and clean.

Be an educated parent, pass this on to your teens!

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