Protecting Your Children’s Privacy

Protecting Your Children’s Privacy

Teenagers are skilled internet users, better than many adults. Teenagers are attracted to online games and new mobile apps and they are willing to provide their personal information by registering for them. Internet companies that collect this information then identify a user’s browsing habits. With this information they compile a user’s preference list and sell this information to online traders. These online traders in return use this information and approach teenagers with new games and mobile apps. Based on each teenager’s interest, the internet companies target the users and make profits by selling their apps and games. The same information is again sold to other online traders who generate business out of them.

As parents we ought to know how our children are accessing online services. This is really challenging and impossible in some ways as parents and educators cannot always be present to supervise what children are doing online. 

As parents you need to take time, sit with them and discuss their activities on the web. Not every child will be open to discuss but if you have a healthy relationship then you will be able to guide the child in the right direction.

Here are the few tips for protecting children’s privacy online.

1.Teach your child to read the privacy policy statements of the websites which will explain what information is collected and what is done with the information.

2.Teach them to set their profile to private which will restrict others to view them.

3.Evaluate whether your child is prepared to access the internet world. Set an age criteria in your family and only family members above the age criteria are allowed to access the internet.

4.Teach your child to check whether the site is a secure site, for example “https” to ensure safe access.

5.Encourage your child to take responsibility for their actions on the web.

6.Establish family rules to be followed for using the internet, in terms of time and limited user rights.

7.Teach them never to disclose personal identifying information (name, phone number address, etc.) online.

8.Explain to the child about keeping their passwords secret, and changing them on a periodic basis; teach them to create strong passwords (alpha-numeric).

9.Teach the child not to register for any services available online and not to provide their personal information to any site available online.

10.Get to know your child’s friends on the web.

11.Discuss with the child the dangers lurking on the web and those that turn into reality and explain to them why such incidents are happening. This will help the child to adopt right online practices.

12.Teach the child that not everything they read online is true and also teach them not to post information about anyone online without their consent.

13.Encourage the child to post a drawing instead of real pictures and let them know that these should be shared with people they know really well and not strangers.

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