It’s normal for parents to keep their children out of harm’s way whether physical or digital. If parents don’t take children’s privacy seriously, their children might get harmed. This is why we’re here to tell you how you can protect your children’s online privacy.
Safeguarding Children’s Online Privacy
Why Need to Protect Children’s Privacy?
If parents had any idea what was really out there on the world wide web, they would never let their kids anywhere near it ever again. The internet is crawling with cybercriminals, hackers, and data thieves. An easy prey for them would be children who have absolutely no idea what they are doing online. Even toys can be violating your children’s privacy. Smart toys including My Friend Cayla, Hello Barbie, and CloudPets all have privacy problems. These toys also collect a lot of information about your child, and they aren’t entirely clear about when they do it and how they use it.
Your children might post photos that reflect poor judgment, and these photos can land in the wrong hands thus subject them to potential risk and harm. It is not advised to overshare, but children have the tendency to do that misguidedly. Even the schools you have entrusted with your children’s education possess valuable information like attendance records, disciplinary records, and medical reports, which could be disclosed to third parties and used to unfairly disqualify your kid from certain opportunities.
How to Protect Children’s Privacy?
There are many ways in which parents and schools can protect their students’ and children’s privacy when using the internet. You’ll find the tips listed below.
- Parents should refrain from posting and sharing pictures of their children over the internet.
- Make sure you don’t post your children’s photos without their consent or permission.
- Talk to your child about the dangers of associating with someone they met online.
- Raise awareness about the risks of oversharing on social media apps.
- Parents should advise their kids to keep things private and not exposing themselves online.
For Extra Privacy
- Parents should protect their children’s personal information such as social security numbers, account numbers, and passwords.
- Warn children about “free” stuff. Free games, ringtones, or other downloads that can hide malware.
- Tell your kids not to download anything unless they trust the source and they’ve scanned it with security software.
- Use strong email passwords to protect children. Kids can protect their passwords by not sharing them with anyone, including their friends.
- Tell your kid to only supply required, not optional, information. If you have the time.
- Turn off location sharing on your kids’ devices, both in the phone settings and in the apps they use.
- Parents can ask schools to take the necessary procedures to protect student privacy.
- Schools should send parents information on how they handle student privacy.
Companies that Protect Children’s Online Privacy
While many companies showed indifference to children’s online privacy, others have taken the matter seriously. For instance, The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) grants parents control over what information websites can collect from their children. The Walt Disney Family of Companies is all about protecting children’s privacy who use their sites and applications. They have a detailed policy that explains their information collection, disclosure, and parental consent practices with respect to information provided by children under the age of 13. Another company that is dedicated to protecting the child’s privacy is SuperAwesome. Its main goal is to provide a safe standard of digital engagement with kids.
GDPR and Children’s Online Privacy
According to GDPR regulations, the processing of the personal data of a child is considered legal when the child is at least 16 years old. However, if a child is under 16 years of age, third-parties must get parental or even the child’s consent in order to collect and process their data. In fact, the collection of data from children under the age of 13 is strictly prohibited.
Under GDPR, any privacy notice from organizations seeking to collect data from a child must write their privacy notice in a way that is children can understand it. It goes on to state:
“Given that children merit specific protection, any information and communication, where processing is addressed to a child, should be in such a clear and plain language that the child can easily understand.”
Safeguarding Children’s Online Privacy
The internet is interwoven in our daily lives, and it’s hard to keep our children away from something that offers too many temptations. While the internet might be a fun place to visit, it’s not a safe one. This is why parents need to be aware of the worst-case scenarios that can occur when they’re unprepared. Why should any third party have access to your child’s information? Hopefully, this guide will help you take the necessary measures to keep your children safe and secure when online. Safe browsing everybody.