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Keeping kids safe online

Your kids’ personal information and privacy are valuable — to you, to them, and to marketers. Fortunately, there are ways you can safeguard that privacy when your kids are online.

* Check out sites your kids visit, and see what kind of information the sites ask for or allow kids to post.
* Talk to your child about the risks and benefits of disclosing certain information, especially in a public forum.
* Take a look at the privacy policy, which should say what the site does with the information it collects. Then you can decide how you feel about it.
* Ask questions. If you’re not clear on a site’s practices or policies, ask about them.
* Be selective with your permission. In many cases, websites need your okay before they’re allowed to collect personal information from your kids.
* Know your rights. For example, as a parent, you have the right to have a site delete any personal information it has about your child.
* Report a website. If you think a site has collected or disclosed information from your kids or marketed to them in a way that violates the law, report it to the FTC.

Whether to study or socialize, play games or learn something new, it’s likely your kids are spending time online. And as a parent, chances are that you’re spending time thinking about ways to make sure they make smart and safe choices when they do. Among the many choices they’re faced with online is how to deal with their personal information.

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act – COPPA – gives parents control over what information websites can collect from their kids. Any website for kids under 13, or any general site that collects personal information from kids it knows are under 13, is required to comply with COPPA. The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, enforces this law.

Thanks to COPPA, sites have to get a parent’s permission if they want to collect or share your kids’ personal information, with only a few exceptions. That goes for information sites ask for up-front, and information your kids choose to post about themselves. Personal information includes your child’s full name, address, email address, or cell phone number.

Under COPPA, sites also have to post privacy policies that give details about what kind of information they collect from kids — and what they might do with it (say, to send a weekly newsletter, direct advertising to them, or give the information to other companies). If a site plans to share the child’s information with another company, the privacy policy must say what that company will do with it. Links to the policies should be in places where they’re easy to spot.

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2 comments:

Albert said...

There are some websites have explicit graphics exposing them to children. Very few of them will have the warning messages on their homepages to alert the user of the kind of material therein. Ensure your child safety on the internet and know all the information on how to monitor your kids' Internet usage and how to keep them safe.
Thanks for sharing the useful tips...

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