Just answered a request for information on linkedin by a journalist for education.com who is preparing a piece on teaching kids to protect their digital identity.

I explained that I encourage kids to view their online presence as a “brand name” like Nike. They should aim to make sure that everything they say online is consistent with the “brand” that they want to put out there and they should also make sure that nothing they put onto the web could cause somebody (a recruiter/dean/lecturer) to reject their brand in the future.

I proposed some general questions that kids should ask themselves before they post something on Facebook/Twitter/MySpace/Blogs;

How would I feel if my Mum read this?

How would I feel if the guy from Harvard read this?

How would I feel if a prospective employer read this?

I know it sounds a bit joyless to expect young teens to think so far ahead but what a lot of teens don’t realise that for the first time in human history there is a permanent record of what they say to each other.