7-Day Digital Cleanse for College-Bound Kids

We already know that poor social media decisions can impact a teen or tween's future. Read on to learn about how a 7-day cleanse can help them refresh their online reputations. This article was originally published on McAfee Blog Central by Toni Birdsong.

Sorry, this post will not push the health benefits of a kale-flax smoothie (although they do rock). But, if your aspiring college student follows this 7-Day Digital Cleanse for a full week, he is bound to become more digitally fit. (Disclaimer: the side effects of the 7-Day Digital Cleanse could be life changing and dream saving).

By now we all know about the fallout that can happen when young people with big dreams fail to post properly on social media sites. We’ve seen Olympic athletes sent home for a tweet, a zillion people get fired, and college scholarships revoked because a tweet or photo made it to the desk of a college decision maker. 

In 2013, Kaplan Test Prep surveyed nearly 400 college admissions officers and found that 30% said they found something online that negatively impacted the applicant’s chances of getting admitted. On the flip side, when canvassing students in a separate study, Kaplan found that 50% of students admitted they would “not be concerned” about an admissions officer researching them online while 27% said they were “not too concerned,” and 14% said they were “very concerned.”

Offenses cited in the admissions study included essay plagiarism, vulgarities in blogs, alcohol consumption in photos and “illegal activities.”

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5 Reasons Why We Don't Want Our Teens Oversharing

In an article originally published on the Huffington Post, Clinical Psychologist, Barbara Greenberg shares her top fears when it comes to teens oversharing on social media.

Every generation of teens has its own unique set of trends including clothing and communication styles. Consider that this generation of teens seems to bare more skin than past generations. At least that's how it appears to me and to many many frustrated sets of parents. Similarly, the current generation of teens share more information about themselves publicly because of the popularity of social media.

We now have a generation of teenagers who barely (a little levity) understand the meaning of keeping things private. In fact, when they share too much information with their parents they are sometimes told "TMI" which refers to Too Much Information. I get this. There is only so much information that parents can tolerate at a single sitting. Look, even though, you want your teens to open up to you, many parents have asked me what to do when their loquacious kids get a little too generous verbally. I suggest that parents listen up because there must be a reason why your kids are opening up to you.

Teens these days are also sharing way too much private information about themselves on social media sites. At least that's my opinion. In fact there is a word that has become popular which describes this behavior. #oversharing

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Digital Parenting, Facebook and the College Admissions Process

We’ve heard quite a bit about how Facebook is a forum for cyberbullying and how the mental health of teens can be affected by it.  Added to this is the fact that there are sexual predators out there, looking to prey on children or teens through Facebook.  These are issues that have received quite a bit of attention but there are other issues, not currently in the forefront, that can have an equal impact on a child’s life in the long run.  It may not occur to your teen to consider these issues but you can help them out with some digital parenting.

One of these issues arises when teens are applying to schools.  They may not realize it but admissions officials routinely check out applicants’ Facebook pages nowadays.  If they don’t like what they see, it may prejudice them and cost the teen his/her admission to that school.  So it’s necessary to consider the teen’s Facebook page as one of the components of the college application, just like the SATs, the academic recommendations and the application essay.  In some ways, the Facebook page can even carry more weight because admissions officials feel that they are getting the uncensored version of the story.  A student may be able to present himself/herself well in a college application but his/her Facebook page may tell a different story, especially if it goes back a few years.

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We are pleased to announce that Bark will be taking over where we leave off. The uKnowKids mission to protect digital kids will live on with Bark. Our team will be working closely with Bark’s team in the future, so that we can continue making the digital world a safer, better place for kids and their families. While we are disappointed we could not complete this mission independently, we are also pleased to hand the uKnowKids baton to Bark.
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