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6 easy ways to protect your kid’s privacy online

Companies are learning more about our kids from the data they collect from our online activities.

From things we post about our kids, their first birthday, their graduation, the moment they go to college, and more. All of this information is collected and might be used by companies to target products to your kids or even create a social profile about your family.

Many companies also follow the pages you like on social media, the things you buy online for your kids and the personal information we place on our social media profiles. Basically, there is a lot of data being collected!

While we as parents might not be so careful about what we post, the good news it the latest research suggests that  68% of young people on social media are aware of online privacy issues.

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No matter how careful you try to be, there is always some form of data that will be collected as long as you are using the internet.

For example, I am sure you have noticed how your Facebook advertisement reflects the websites you have visited.

Or maybe your child watches Peppa Pig on your Ipad and the next time you log go to Google it reminds you of Peppa Pig. Sounds familiar? While this can be convenient, it can also be weird and creepy.

I am sure as a parent you do not want companies to be collecting data about your kids. And if you are like me you would prefer to know what companies already know about your family.

Here are some ways you can protect your kid’s privacy online :

  1. Avoid signing in using social media

Whenever you try to login to a service online or make payments, you might be tempted to just login using your Facebook or other social media account.

It is convenient to do that. However, when signing in to other sites using a social media account you might be giving out a lot of your social media information.  And if you post a lot about your kids online, you are giving out their information too.

Avoid doing that and instead log in using your email account. This may not be as convenient as login using your Facebook account but it limits the information you give out.

Also, before browsing on other websites make it a habit to log out of social media sites. This means actually signing out.  This simple trick will limit the information a website can collect about you.

Related : How to set up Google Safe Search and Parental Control

Don’t forget to get this free copy 

2. Disable location service

I am sure you have downloaded apps that ask to access your location. It is always good practice to not allow any app to access your location service. This includes Facebook Messenger and Snapmap.

This will reduce the amount of information you are giving out about your family. When you enable location service you are giving out information about your exact location when you send a message or create a post. This can happen without you even knowing about it.

Related : How to stop Google from tracking your location

You can use the printables below to help your child deal with any anxiety they may be facing in their daily life or at school. 

3. Check your phone settings

If you are an android or apple user you can actually limit the information that you share. Using the phone settings you can limit ad tracking from your devices and even opt-out of interest ads.

Here is how to do it on an iPhone:

  • Go to settings
  • Click Privacy
  • Scroll down to Advertising
  • Toggle  “Limit ad tracking’ to ‘On’

How to do it an Android phone:

  • Go to settings
  • Click on ads link and select ‘Opt out of interest-based ads’

This feature in your Apple or Android phone will make you less targeted by advertisers.

4 Get to know other settings

Every social media app offers privacy settings. Be sure to use them.

For example, in Instagram you can click on “Settings” and select “Privacy and Security”.  You can then click on “Account Privacy” and make your social account to be private.

Related : 3 Instagram Safety Tips For Family

Similar settings are available on Facebook. 

Check out the Happy Printable Journal, packed with amazing worksheets, including ways to manage anxiety and helping children develop positive habits.

5. Use two-factor authentication.

This is an extra step needed in a log-in process, for example for email to confirm your identity. This makes it more difficult for hackers to get into your account.

If you are like me, I rely on Google Photos to store my family photos and create space on my phone. Hence it is very important that I keep my account safe as I do not want my family photos to be leaked.

I now use two-factor authentication on all my devices. This is also a good digital habit and when my kid is ready for a phone I will make sure she follows the same process.

6. Be a good role model

Our kids learn by watching us. Having good online habits is how I will teach my child about online safety.

For example, with all the data scandal recently found with Facebook, I have stopped posting anything about my child on this platform.

I also ensure that all my settings on all social media profile are set to private.

More importantly, I regularly talk to my child about the importance of a good digital footprint. The basic idea that all your online data is collected and will be part of your permanent record.

Finally, remember that everything that you post about your kids is going to be part of their record. We don’t know how that data will be used and the implications of it in on your child in the future. The last thing you want is your kid being limited by opportunities due to something you posted when they were a child.

Children’s online safety book- teach them about internet safety from a young age. For 3 -10 years old

Before you go don’t forget to get the Happy Printable Journal. 

159 pages of fun, positive and growth mindset activities for kids.

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