You’ve fed them, helped them with homework, and dropped them off at practice, but have you Googled your kids lately? This may not be the first thing on your “to do list” for the day, but it’s a wise practice when it comes to online safety. While filtering software helps you monitor where they go and with whom they talk to online, it won’t be able to inform you of “other” people who may be talking about them.
Tools like Google Alerts can be extremely helpful. Google Alerts are emails sent to you when
Google finds new results (this can be web pages, newspaper articles, tags, or blogs) that match your search term. The great part is—it’s easy to do.
- Go to Google’s home page. Click on the ‘more’ tab on the navigation bar.
- Click on the ‘even more’ tab. Scroll down to the section that says ‘specialized searches’ and click on ‘Alerts.’
- From there, Google will prompt you to fill out several boxes that give you search options. Type in your child’s name and the parameters of the search.
Google will deliver alerts to your inbox immediately. It will retrieve articles, blogs, comments, and photo tags that may give mention of your child elsewhere online. Be warned: Google will also collect some random word combinations of your search term and deliver those as well—so you will quickly learn what to read and what to delete.