13
Sep

Protecting Children’s Privacy

Children face a serious problem with the introduction of technology into our daily lives. When it comes to online privacy, there are many issues that we all are facing.

The internet is a massive ocean of knowledge about numerous things. It’s a magical and wonderful place full of interesting content (*like this blog post).

Sadly though, not all information is fit for children’s viewing. There are many, many topics and websites which are not suitable for children, and not legal for children to access because they have not reached the age required to understand and process the information.

Why is child privacy & online protection needed?

  • When a child sits in a certain age bracket, they should be shown appropriate content to help them to, learn, play, and grow healthy mentally, and physically. Adult content, political news, crime and other material should be blocked where possible.
  • Child privacy and online protection can be deployed to limit the use of social media, which may contain adult contents or such content which is not age-appropriate. There are many social media networks which have created some protocol to have child privacy protection. Limiting communication can stop outside contact in conjunction with child education.
  • Crime news and adult-related news and information can confuse and upset younger viewers that cannot understand the broader story.
  • Child protection online is a natural extension of our everyday role in caring for our next generation.

What preventive measures for child privacy protection has been taken by broadcasting and social media companies?

  • Broadcasting companies have led the charge for censorship, privacy and protection for younger views and most modern providers feature a ‘child lock’ system to limit adult programming where required. This can be used to lock channels which provide content not suitable for a child. Parents can put a “lock” channel so that their child may not get to see any other channels. This is a big step to keep the kids safe from adult content.
  • Social media companies are also aware of the issue. For example, Facebook doesn’t allow users to create an account for those under 13 years of age. Likewise, many social media networks allow for complaints and other banning and suspension tools which reduce abuse.

How are kids misusing and violating the protections?

The modern generation child can be technically-savvy. From time-to-time, they use their skills to contravene the rules that have been set. It is in a kids nature to see what they can get away with too, right? 

  • Services require a password. This can be circumvented if they see it being entered in… so be careful. 
  • In social media, users under 13 aren’t allowed to register? No problem, they don’t verify details so just use a later date. Check activity. 

What can you do?

  • Make sure your child understands that every age has its limitation on what content can be viewed.
  • Put a child lock password on your system.
  • Ensure you have all passwords and make your child promise to keep you updated on changes to the password.
  • Educate your child about the dangers that may await online.
  • Limit your own access to adult related content when your children are within the vicinity.
  • Show your children some places to go that will provide fun, safe and reliable content.
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