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Family Tech Tip: Helping your Child Build a Positive Digital Footprint

Every internet user has a digital footprint. Visiting your favorite news website, making an online purchase, sending an email, or commenting on a friend’s social media post are simple ways our online actions are recorded. Although it’s nearly impossible to avoid leaving an online record, the good news is that it’s entirely possible for that record to be positive and impactful. Parents and schools can partner to help guide kids toward creating the kind of digital footprint they can be proud of.   

Start the Conversation: Use this template created by to start or continue the conversation about setting personal or family rules for sharing information online.

Tips for Success: Check out the four tips below provided by Common Sense Media that help families model the development of a positive digital footprint.

Be a Role Model

profile photo iconAsk your child if it’s okay to share their photo online before posting pictures to social media. This gives your child instant ownership of their digital footprint and is good modeling for what you expect when they decide to share photos or information online.

Use Privacy Settings

padlock iconGo through the apps, games, and websites your child uses the most and set the privacy settings appropriately. For example, is your child’s Instagram account private or public? Make sure you both know what information your child is sharing online.

Ask Lots of Questions

question mark iconTalk with your child about why it's important to protect their personal data. Before registering for a new online service or creating an account, check the privacy policy to see what type of information you will be giving the company and who they will be sharing it with.

Do a Case Study

webpage iconLook up a celebrity or another famous person’s profile on Instagram or Twitter. Scroll through their posts and ask your child about their impressions of that person based on the information shared. Follow up with a discussion about what kind of image your child wants to project online.