The internet is full of dangers that we, as adults, have learned to avoid.
When you think of dangers to kids online, the first thing that springs to mind is pornography. You need to set a safe-search filter on search engines to avoid your child’s searches return mountains of pornography sites.
But that’s not the only danger that your kids face by using the internet.
Perhaps the most scary, pervasive and hidden threat, is to your child’s privacy, throughout their lifetime. The world is becoming more and more digital, and the amount of data that is being stored about each person is increasing at a lightning fast pace.
This data is being collected when you visit websites or perform online searches, and is stored on your device with cookies. The information in the cookies is reasonably harmless, and is typically used to show targeted advertisements.
But, big data analysts who regularly purchase these cookie profiles, can form a highly accurate profile of a person, by combining the data and comparing it to similar people.
It is truly frightening.
Your child’s digital reputation, that they are already building now while using the internet, may be used to limit access to good jobs, set a higher rate on their insurance, block them from being accepted into the school of their choice – all manner of services may be tailored in some way to affect your child’s life, without you or them even knowing it!
There are some things you can do to protect your child’s privacy right now:
- Turn on safe search in your favorite search engine
- Download the Findx app for tablet or phone
- Browse in private mode with Safari, Chrome and Firefox or choose to use a private browser.
- Delete your browser’s cookies, and choose to limit what cookies are allowed to be stored on your device.
- Install extensions or add-ons to use a private search engine like Findx by default.
- Use the resources at StaySafeOnline to help protect your children.
- Learn how to protect your child from cyberbullying and harrassment.
- Enable parental controls on the devices that your child uses to connect to the internet.
- Teach your child about privacy and safety when they game, search or use forums online.
This will help your child use the internet safely, and limit how much information that big-data analysts can purchase from advertising companies, and will stop them building such an accurate and detailed profile about your child.
Start caring about your kids’ privacy today!
When you install apps, ‘like’ a web page, or use Facebook to log into websites, you let them harvest your Facebook profile information. Take control of your online privacy and change these Facebook settings today.