Protect your Kid’s Privacy Online!
Nowadays parents give their kids their own mobile phones at a much younger age. Which also means that they are sending texts, posting to all sorts of Social Media networks and uploading photos for their friends to see at an increasingly younger age. But their online lives aren't always as private as they think and unknowingly they share their private content with way more people than their friends. This blog posts focuses on how you can protect your kids' online privacy. Because what your kids (or you!) post or fill out online can end up in the wrong hands, which could possibly affect your child’s future, reputation and overall safety.
Online privacy is actually pretty hard to understand and you might only realise that it was there until you lose it. Maybe you think this sounds a bit paranoid or far fetched, but really, there’s an extremely thin line between public and private sharing. For sure you will have heard about all kinds of terms that involve Internet and privacy. Such asInternet predators, Cyber Crime, Hackers, Online safety, Fishing and Data mining, to name a few. These issues can be hard to grasp and a bit of a grey area which means that they're quite easily dismissed. But what your kids (or you!) post or fill out online can end up in the wrong hands, which could possibly affect your child’s future, reputation and overall safety.
Here are 4 important reasons why you should care about your and their online privacy.
To start off with a horrible extreme: Your kid's identity could be stolen. Internet-enabled toys and other kids' devices, tablets and other mobile devices store information about your child "in the cloud" (which is another word for servers). As the 2015 data breach of Vtech's InnoTab Max uncovered, hackers specifically like to target kids because they offer a clean credit history and unused Social Security numbers. Now THAT is scary stuff.
Your child could get seriously hurt and exposed in a way that no one would want to be exposed (unwillingly!). Sharing your whereabouts on location-aware social media such as Twitter, Wave, Snap Chat or Facebook reveals kids' physical locations to all their contacts. Of which MANY your kid doesn't know personally. Imagine a selfie that's location-tagged and says "Bored, by myself, just hanging out looking for something fun to do" that shows a clear background and is therefore easy to trace by people that want to do harm.
Future opportunities could be compromised. Sharing crazy party pictures from a holiday with friends or a party paints a certain picture for potential admissions counselors, school principles, hiring managers and other important people in the future lives of your children. They might not care that your kid partied and had crazy fun. It’s not that at all! It does however show a lack of proper judgment when kids post such compromising images. And exactly this poor judgment could influence an important decision. Even though it’s entirely normal to party and do all sorts of crazy things as a kid, this should better not be shared with the world to see. Remember, it’s hard to get rid of a certain label! Your kid might just miss out on opportunities.
Humiliation and bullying could seriously harm your child and affect their future. Sharing all sorts of fun stuff from your life with your friends is totally fine. But there’s also something that is called OVERsharing and that’s basically never a good idea. When kids share inappropriate material, whether it's a sexy selfie, an explicit photo session with a friend, an overly revealing sensitive topic or opinion, or perhaps cruel comments and gossip about others… the results can be extremely humiliating and damaging if those posts become public or shared widely. You should definitely talk to your kids about keeping private things private and explain to them how a single picture or video could influence their lives in a seriously bad way. Especially considering how far and fast online information travels and how long the aftermath could be.
These were 4 important reasons why you should care about your child's online privacy. With ChillGlobal you are able to browse the Internet entirely anonymously which adds greatly to online privacy, safety and security. You can read more about that in this older ChillGlobal blog post about how to browse the Internet anonymously.