BBB tip: Internet safety tips for back to school

With your kids going back to school this year, buying new supplies and clothes isn’t enough. You should also think about how to help them stay safe online and avoid being easy targets for online predators.

Parents: Watch out!

Creating accounts on websites without permission: Social media is full of strangers with intentions that may be very different from yours. Many sites are designed to collect and sell unauthorized user details and behaviors to advertisers looking to engage in targeted marketing. Some children may generate an error date of birth to meet the minimum age requirements when creating an account. Find out what your child is doing online, and keep track of which social media sites and accounts they have access to.

Contests and giveaways: Contests and giveaways often collect a huge amount of personal information on their entry forms. Many of them are very compelling ways to collect personal or financial information that could lead to identity theft. Ensure that your child does not have access to banking or credit card information and supervise filling out any forms.

phishing: Adults aren’t the only ones receiving spam and junk mail. Kids often get spam, and since they don’t have a lot of online experience, they’re more likely to click on links and answer questions they probably shouldn’t. While some emails may be legitimate, the last thing parents want or need is a $500 bill from a fraudulent website where the purchase may have been made – or worse, give away personal information that can be traced back to your home.

Understand the apps. Short for “apps,” apps are downloaded software that runs on different devices, such as smartphones. However, some applications may collect and share personal information about your child or target your child with advertisements. Even free apps may include paid features, and kids may not understand that some apps or game features cost money, as they are labeled free to download. They may click on the so-called free games and end up with parents or guardians a huge bill at the end of the month.

File sharing sites: Many websites allow children to download free media. A child may not realize that these sites often carry the risk of downloading a virus, allowing identity thieves to gain access to the gaming device, PC or cell phone that is being used. From there, a cyber thief can track financial transactions, physical location, or even access to your home wifi without anyone knowing.

Tips on how to manage family online privacy:

Learn about the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU). CARU Self-Regulatory Program Provides detailed guidance for children’s advertisers on how to deal sensitively and honestly with children’s issues. These guidelines go beyond issues of validity and accuracy to take into account a uniquely vulnerable and vulnerable audience of children.

Learn about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Protects personal information of children under the age of 13 on websites and online services – including apps. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) requires these sites and services to notify and obtain parental consent before they collect, use, or disclose a child’s personal information. However, if your nine-year-old tells Instagram that they are 13 (the age requirement to use the app), this law will not protect them.

Learn about FOSI. Online Family Safety Institute It brings an international perspective on the potential risks, harms, and rewards of our online lives. A good digital parenting portal on the web It is an excellent resource for families looking to educate online safety procedures in the age of the Internet.

Read the privacy policies together and understand the privacy settings. Parents can have their kids read the privacy policies and terms of use of any apps they want. While there may be a few grumbling that the policies are “too long” or “too time-consuming,” remind them of the importance of knowing what they have in common and insisting on reading them. Next, take your time to learn and understand the privacy settings in each app and game.

Do not share your location. Almost every application automatically tracks a user’s location. From placing an online order to buy groceries or fast food to playing an online game, check out the apps on all your devices to see which ones are tracking your location. Then, if it is not needed, look in the settings to find out how to disable this feature. Advise a friend or family member to avoid geotagging their posts on their site. why? For example, you don’t want to advertise the fact that your family is vacationing out of state while the house is sitting empty. A simple review of the geotagged post will reveal where you are.

Use parental control if necessary. Although the best way to Keeping a child’s online privacy safe Is to teach them how to manage it themselves, it doesn’t hurt to have their backs with parental controls. Today Android, iOS and most web browsers offer built-in features that allow parents to monitor their children’s online activities, but third-party apps are also available. Find the best option. Follow up with the child to explain why they are monitoring their activities.

Share carefully, and remember, personal information is like money. What gets posted online can last a lifetime: Parents can teach kids that any information they share online can be easily copied and almost impossible to recover. Talk to them about who might view a post and how it might be viewed in the future, and show them how anything they do online can positively or negatively affect others. Sharing personal information can also give online thieves an idea of ​​what login information or passwords can be used for bank accounts or other online accounts.

Teachers and administrators: Tips for students

Video conferencing toolsJust like companies, make sure that online software used for lecturing, class work, and other online interactions are secure. days Zoom bombingPhishing and other forms of cybercriminal activity are not over yet.

Evaluate and update cyber security plans: The sudden closure of in-person activities has left many people scrambling to change course in creating and delivering curriculum. Now is the time for teachers Develop a plan To notify students, faculty, and staff of a data breach or security issue as soon as classes return to session.

Keep your device clean and update your internet connected devices: Backing up important lesson plans, personal information, and assignments is the best defense against viruses, malware, and other online threats. The only way to do that is to stay up to date with the latest software to protect against it.

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