Fact sheet for ages 12-13 about an online reputation

Your online reputation: What it is and how to protect it

For youth aged 12-13 years old

What is an online reputation?

Just like your reputation at school or home, your online reputation is how other people see and think of you based on what you say and do online. It is important because it may affect how people treat you.

How is it formed?

When you are online, you leave a record of what you do and say for others to see. Things that can form your online reputation include:

  • The stories, videos and pictures you post or share with others
  • What you like or dislike and agree or disagree with
  • Comments and posts you make about yourself and others
  • Comments and posts other people make about you

How can it affect you?

If your online reputation is good, it can help you find friends, connections, and future opportunities. On the other hand, if your online reputation includes mean, hurtful, or embarrassing things, it can:

  • Make others think less of you
  • Make you feel alone or that others don’t like you
  • End or change your friendships
  • Open the door to mean comments or cyberbullying
  • Limit your future opportunities

How can you protect it?

There are many ways to improve and protect your online reputation:

  • Think twice before you post: Is what you are saying, showing, liking or sharing going to make fun of or hurt someone?
  • Assume everyone will see it: What you put on the internet may not stay private, so how would you feel if your friends, parents or teachers saw it?
  • Protect your privacy: Use privacy settings on social media and don’t share your passwords with anyone
  • Know who your friends are: Be careful who you accept, shorten your friends list, and restrict access for friends of friends and the public
  • Ask for help: If you made a mistake or are worried, feel threatened or are being cyberbullied, talk to your parents, or another adult you can trust


Learn more at Canada.ca/cyberbullying

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