Common Sense Media sponsored a study last year about parents, privacy and the internet. Privacy is huge issue for parents, as they are very concerned about their children’s online activities. They are worried that their children are being tracked and targeted by marketing firms, and that their youngsters may say things on social networking sites without fully realizing long term consequences.
Zogby International conducted a poll last September. They found 85% of parents are more concerned about online privacy than they were 5 years ago, and 61% of parents think Congress should update laws relating to the online privacy and security of children and teens.
Steyer, of Common Sense Media stated, “What jumped out at me the most is that this is a huge issue for parents,” he said. “Secondly, they (parents) feel we need new laws and regulations about privacy for kids and teens.”
Common Sense Media created an initiative to face these issues head on. The following are suggested principles that policymakers and industry leaders should implement to better protect the privacy of children and teens online.
- Do not Track Children
- Parents and Kids should be able to delete online information
- No behavioral marketing to kids
- The industry standard for privacy should be opt in, especially for kids
- Privacy policies should be clear and transparent
- Parents and children should be educated about online privacy
- Privacy protections should apply across all online and mobile platforms
Click here to read the full white paper.
For parents seeking some common sense suggestions to help keep their children’s privacy safe, here are a few suggestions:
- Be aware of who is on your child’s friends list. Although your child may be popular, it is doubtful he or she needs hundreds or thousands of friends on Facebook.
- Use available privacy settings to lock down their profile information. Have clear dialogue with them and agree on what information should be available to “everyone” or “friends only.”
- Do not allow them to enter contests or questionnaires- especially those requiring home address and/or cell phone numbers. 90% of these are not legitimate and are used by hackers and scammers to obtain personal information or spread malware and viruses.
- Do not allow the use location based services.
- Do not allow them to put their cell phone number in their profile information.
For more information about Facebook privacy see our guide: