NCSAM is here: Teens need to 'get in the know'

National Cyber Safety Awareness Month (NCSAM) is here.  October is a month that is highlighted by encouraging people to get in the know about their cyber and virtual safety.  Especially parents with kids and specifically - teens.

Why teens?  Because they are the ones that will most likely be applying to colleges or looking for employment and if their online resume isn't kept updated and appropriate, chances are good that their won't be accepted or they may not get that job.

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 is saying about you?  Do you know what it says about your teenager?

It is time to "get in the know" and learn to maintain your digital profile.
Here are some 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 Naymz.com, 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 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.
Back to where we started, helping your teen get into your college of their choice, or you want to land your dream job and you want to keep your online profile up to date. Take the steps to make that happen.

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