If there’s one thing teens need to know about social media, it’s that their online footprints never go away, impacting their educations, careers and lives. In fact, a recent study by Kaplan Test Prep says 35 percent of college admissions officers check social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram when reviewing applications.
“Everything your child does online matters,” says Douglas Fodeman, director of technology at Brookwood School in Manchester, Massachusetts.
His suggestions for teens:
- Clean up your social media presence — delete offensive posts, incriminating photos or questionable status updates.
- Google yourself, then remove the “dirt” you’ve left behind.
- Open a LinkedIn account. “Dress it up with true and good experiences,” Fodeman advises, “and post to impress.”
- Increase your privacy settings. “But never assume that somebody won't see it, or that it can't be found online,” Fodeman says.
- Create professional account and email names.