Microsoft encourages parents to help children manage their online
profiles and offers helpful tips
TORONTO, Jan. 24, 2012 /CNW/ - As part of Data Privacy Day 2012, Microsoft is offering guidance and tips to help
Canadians better manage their online profiles and maintain a positive
reputation. Everything a person does online, from responding to emails
and texts, uploading photos, making purchases or clicking the "like"
and retweet buttons on favorite web pages contributes to their online
reputation. However, new global research commissioned by Microsoft
surveyed 5,000 respondents from Canada, U.S., Spain, Germany and
Ireland suggests adults and children may want to be more mindful of how
their digital activities impact their online reputations. In Canada, 57
percent of adults and 55 percent of children aged 8-17 years old
surveyed do not think about the long-term impact of their online
activities on their personal reputation, and only 37 percent of adults
and 41 per cent of children think about the long-term impact of their
online activities on the reputations of others.
"Protecting what you share online is very important. Online information
can affect your friendships, promotions and job offers. It shapes how
people see you," said John Weigelt, National Technology Officer,
Microsoft Canada. "Without protection, your personal data can also be
used against you in online fraud or by unwanted marketers. Canadians
need to protect themselves and help children get into the right habits
The results showed that children could use more help managing their
online reputations from their parents. Only one-third (34%) of parents
surveyed help their children manage their online reputations. Children
8-14 years old are more than twice as likely to receive parental help
as children 15-17 years old (66% vs. 25%). Among children who posted
information online at a social networking site, children 15-17 years
old were more likely to experience a negative consequence to their
online reputation compared to children 8-14 years old (62% vs. 50%).
The survey also showed that uploading photos in general is not viewed as
a major contributor to online profiles. While only 6 percent of adults
and 9 percent of children responded that it was a major contributor,
photos are considered one of the biggest influences on online
To help Canadians put their best digital foot forward, Microsoft Canada
offers the following tips to help cultivate and maintain a positive
Think before you share.
Think about what you are posting (particularly photos and videos), who
you are sharing the information with, and how it will impact your
reputation. Talk with friends and family about what you do and do not
want shared about you and ask them to remove anything you don't want
11 percent of Canadian adults have been negatively impacted by the
online activities of friends or family. Of those, 13 percent believed
it led to being fired from a job, 8 percent being refused health care,
6 percent believed it resulted in being turned down for a job they were
applying for, and 11 percent being turned down for a mortgage.
Stay vigilant and conduct your own "reputation report" from time to
Search all variations of your name in Bing and other popular search engines, and evaluate if the results reflect
the reputation you'd like to share with current or future employers,
colleagues, friends and family members.
Research found that 39 percent of Canadian adults rarely or never do
Consider separating your professional and personal profiles.
When job hunting, applying to a school or looking for new insurance or a
loan, remember that your overall online profile can be a determining
factor for hiring managers and application reviewers. Be sure to use
different email addresses, screen names, referring blogs and websites
for each profile, and avoid cross-referencing personal sites.
56 percent of Canadian adults think about taking steps to keep their
work and personal profiles private; however, 15 percent of Canadian
adults have shared information online that was intended to remain
private. Most commonly shared are details about one's personal life
(61%) and personal photos (35%).
Adjust your privacy settings.
In Internet Explorer 9 or other Web browsers, and on social networking sites, personal blogs
and other places where you maintain personal data, use privacy settings
to help you manage who can see your information, search for you on
online networking sites, and how you can block unwanted access.
According to our research, 34 per cent of Canadian adults do not use
privacy settings on social networking sites.
Be a good digital citizen.
The web has a long memory. Always conduct yourself in a civil manner,
showing respect for those with whom you engage.
Microsoft offers guidance on how to be a better digital citizen in our Digital Citizenship in Action Toolkit.
For further details on this survey, Microsoft's commitment to privacy
and the company's involvement in Data Privacy Day, please visit: www.microsoft.com/privacy/dpd
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in
software, services and solutions that help people and businesses
realise their full potential.
Image with caption: "What does YOUR ONLINE IMAGE project about YOU? (CNW Group/Microsoft Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120124_C6267_PHOTO_EN_9138.jpg
SOURCE Microsoft Canada
For further information:
Microsoft PR Contacts
Sarah Louise Gardiner, Fleishman-Hillard
Phone: (647) 339 6445