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How Can I Protect My Child’s Data and Privacy?

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, cybercrime has increased 300% since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. But adults aren’t the only ones who need to worry about keeping their data safe from identity thieves, fraudsters, and spying corporations. With major companies like YouTube and TikTok under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission for potential violations of child privacy claims, it’s more important than ever to keep your child’s data safe and secure when they’re online.

Unfortunately, protecting your data isn’t always as easy, especially if you’re among the 13.7 million single parents in the U.S. already juggling parental responsibilities. But there are a few key ways you can help to protect your child’s private data and legal rights while they’re using their tech. Here are some tips you can use to help keep your family safe online.

Know your child’s legal rights

For the modern enterprise, data transmission and storage security is essential. But that transmission and storage always needs to abide by the law. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act gives parents control over the personal information companies are allowed to collect online from your kids under the age of 13.

The Federal Trade Commission enforces this law. If a mobile app, web service, or company is covered by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, (COPPA), that company needs to get your consent first before collecting personal information from your child. That company also needs to honor your choice about how that information is used.

This is why it’s so important to read the terms and conditions of an app or website that your child will be using before you give your kids the go-ahead to use that application.

Install virus protection on all devices

You may know what a fraudulent email or text message looks like. But your kids don’t have as much experience dealing with malicious content, links, and ads. That means they’ll be more likely to click on them without knowing the consequences. To keep spyware from infecting your child’s tech devices, make sure that you have virus protection on your child’s phone and computer. It’s also a good idea to teach your kids what spam and malicious ads look like that might be trying to steal their information.

Talk to your kids about online safety

Kids spend a lot of time connected to their devices and on social media. It’s important to talk to your kids to let them know not to share personal information online. Teach them about how identity thieves and companies can use that personal information to steal from them or market to them. When kids know why online safety is important, they’ll be more likely to keep their personal information to themselves.

When you learn how to protect your child’s private data and you teach your child how to do the same, your kids will grow up to know how to protect themselves against fraudsters, identity thieves, spyware, and more.

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