More reports are surfacing on how easy it is to hack on-line accounts, or how “friends of friends” can rip off your house using your casual social media updates. There is also recent evidence indicating that kids online are entirely too free with their information – and probably your information, as well. Here’s a great article on current “sharing” trends to remind us all:
A recent poll, conducted by Zogby International for Common Sense Media, finds that the vast majority of kids think their friends share waaaay too much information online. An even bigger percentage of parents don’t trust kids. At least 92 percent of the parents surveyed say kids are too willing to give out personal information in exchange for goods and services available via the computer.
Purveyors of just about everything in cyberspace often ask for personal information as a condition for gaining access to their websites, or for buying their wares. According to the poll, the majority of parents want Congress to change the law before companies can use personal information for marketing purposes. At least 70 of parents think schools should educate students about online privacy. However, the Washington Post points out that the poll never asks parents much about their own responsibility in monitoring their kids’ online activities.
- 85 % of parents say they are more concerned about online privacy than they were five years ago.
- 69 % of parents believe online privacy is a shared responsibility of individuals and online companies.
- 91 % of parents think search engines and social networking sites should get their permission before sharing a kid’s physical location with other companies.
- 51 % of parents say they always/sometimes read Terms of Service.
- 91 % of parents say they’d take more time to read Terms of Service if they were shorter and more clear.
What You Can Do
Common Sense Media offers these tips to parents – and you can find plenty more good advice at their web site:
- Make sure kids always use privacy settings.
You don’t want your kids to be publicly searchable on Facebook or any other social network.
- No location sharing!
Kids who use location-sharing programs to reveal where they are can leave themselves open to unwanted personal contact.
- No questionnaires, free giveaways or contests!
Companies take kids’ information and use it to market to them.
- Make sure kids look for the opt-out buttons.
When kids register for a site or download an app, make sure they check the box to opt-out of information sharing.
- When in doubt, check it out.
Do your homework on any product your child is using.
FrontPoint is committed to any measures that will increase your safety, security, and peace of mind. After all, we’re the recognized experts when it comes to interactive, wireless home security that protects homes and families all across the US and Canada – with systems that are safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat. We all want our kids to be comfortable and conversant with technology – it’s just as important as getting outdoors for a walk or other form of exercise. But, there is a responsibility for parents to manage the online activities of their children. You’ll be safer – and so will they.