All Internet users build a digital or an online reputation as they spend time online. Digital reputation is made of our digital footprints put together. For their privacy and security, it is important for children to be aware of where their personal information is stored on the internet, who can access it, what others are doing with their information, and the footprints that they are leaving for others to find.
What are the risks for your child?
When information is posted online it can be difficult to remove it. Information can stay there easily and can be quickly circulated beyond a child’s immediate circle of friends. Friends who they might consider trustworthy could also misuse this private information. When images and words originally intended for a small group of people are shared with a broader audience, it can have a negative influence on the child’s reputation.
What could you do for your child?
Parents should discuss the consequences of negative footprints and it’s impact on digital reputation with their children. Children need to be careful about what they post online in order to protect their reputation both online and offline.
Children need to be made aware that creating and/or distributing sexual images with minors may constitute the production and/or distribution of child pornography. Parents could also help by ensuring that their children understand that they may be committing a criminal offence when taking and/or sharing sexual images of themselves, or others, who are minors.
Where do I go for help?
If you have concerns about your child’s negative digital reputation or online behaviors, discuss your concerns with them, or seek professional support for your child through the Online Helpline, provided by DMTI. The service provides free, confidential online counselling for children.
Benefits of Technology
It is important to divert children’s attention to the positive uses of technology. Parents need to identify what their children are good at and direct them to use technology to enhance the skills. DMTI conducts training in digital writing, website creation, animation and other professional development workshops.
Related Resources for parents
DMTI for juniors has a range of age appropriate online information and related links to support parents in the education of themselves and their children. Resources are available for:
DMTI for juniors also delivers outreach programs which offers Internet Safety Awareness training programs for parents, students and teachers to encourage a consistent approach to cyber-safety education between school and home. These sessions are informative, non-technical and available to all schools. You can also call our helpline for any assistance.