Give your kids a head start in this connected world
Rob Zidar is co-founder of ThirdParent, a company that can check the public profile of children and teenagers online on behalf of parents and, yep, employers and universities. We asked him how this works and why even digitally-savvy parents may be surprised at the consequences of an iffy online profile.
As a parent of three digital natives myself, I’ve seen first hand how challenging it is to stay on top of what my kids are actually doing online, and balancing the risks and inappropriate content with the fact that kids need to grow and discover what the world has to offer. Cyberbullying, predators, identity theft and inappropriate content are all real risks in today’s digital scene.
I’ve recently agreed to become an expert on Quib.ly, and look forward to stepping up my contribution to the site.
What qualifies me to be an expert on a site that is brimming with folks who know the digital landscape so well? I’m one of the founders of ThirdParent, a new company that offers parents and educators an innovative resource to ensure that teens and pre teens are using the internet and social media safely and responsibly.
Our core service is a parent-directed internet audit of kids’ online profiles and activity. In our view, our service is especially valuable to families in three categories:
My fellow founders and I are all parents of teenagers, and want the best for them. We believe that we have raised them well and taught them to make good decisions, but given the indelible nature of the internet, even a casual error or misunderstanding can come back to haunt you.
No doubt you’ve heard stories about employers nixing candidates because of something found online, or college admissions officers declining applicants because of inappropriate online behavior. I was speaking with a Division I college golf coach last month and he told me that before recruiting a player, he does an online search and if he sees anything remotely questionable, he moves on to the next player. Often, there are no second chances.
If you’re concerned about kids’ privacy, don’t worry. We are too. The only information that we collect from parents is the child’s name, email address and school. Since the search that we do is limited to publicly available information, your child’s privacy is protected.
Please feel free to check out our website. If you have a question, we’re always happy to try to answer.