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Archive for the ‘Mobile’ Category

Revised Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule Now In Effect

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

The Federal Trade Commission’s revised Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule took effect on July 1st. COPPA gives parents greater control over the online collection of their children’s personal information. The revised COPPA rule is the result of more than two years of review by the agency to modernize the rule.

The revised COPPA rule addresses new ways in which children use and access the Internet, including the use of mobile devices and social networking. The modified COPPA rule, approved by the Commission in December 2012, broadens the definition of children’s personal information to include persistent identifiers such as cookies that track a child’s activity online, as well as geolocation information, photos, videos, and audio recordings.

COPPA was mandated when Congress passed the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998. COPPA requires that operators of websites or online services that are either directed to children under 13 or have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information from children under 13 give notice to parents and get their verifiable consent before collecting, using, or disclosing such personal information, and keep secure the information they collect from children.

The FTC has also continued five “safe harbor” programs, whose guidelines now reflect the updated rule. Under COPPA, “safe harbor” status permits certain organizations to create comprehensive self-compliance programs for their members. Companies that participate in a COPPA safe harbor program are generally subject to the review and disciplinary procedures provided in the safe harbor’s guidelines in lieu of formal FTC investigation and law enforcement. COPPA safe harbor programs are offered by Aristotle International, Inc., the Children’s Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, ESRB Privacy Online, PRIVO and TRUSTe.

The FTC has updated a guide for parents, “Protecting Your Child’s Privacy Online,” that explains what COPPA is, how it works and what parents can do to help protect their children’s privacy online.

Parents Should Read This: Data About What Teens Do Online

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Pew Research just released a report called “Teens, Social Media, and Privacy.” The report provides a bunch of data about what teens do online and how they view their personal privacy while sharing. The report also delves into social sharing apps like Twitter, SnapChat and Instagram.

Why should you care? As a parent it’s really important to get a broader view of how how other teens conduct themselves online. It also helps to understand the context in which teens uses these technologies. While many adults and even many press accounts describe SnapChat as a saucy photo sharing app teens use it in ways that may surprise you. One teen girl described her use of SnapChat in Pew’s focus groups in this way: “Well, because Facebook, everyone sees what I’m doing. But Snapchat is just to one person, unless they’re a jerk and they screenshot it and post it on Facebook. But mostly it’s just the person that you’re sending it to, so it’s like a conversation.”

Also, the teens comment about their parents joining Facebook: “It sucks… Because then they [my parents] start asking me questions like why are you doing this, why are you doing that. It’s like, it’s my Facebook. If I don’t get privacy at home, at least, I think, I should get privacy on a social network.”

So, take a deep breath, relax and read Pew’s data. It’s a brave new world, but you may find that it’s not a scary as you thought.

Parents’ Guides to Instagram and Snapchat

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Anne Collier and Larry Magid released two new Parents’ Guides yesterday — one to Instagram and one to Snapchat. Kids have started using these social photo apps to communicate with one another. If you don’t think your child is using his/her smartphone to share via Instragram and/or Snapchat you’re probably wrong. But it doesn’t mean you need to freak out. ConnectSafely’s guides to these new tools will help you get a better handle on your kids’ social photo sharing.

The “guides demystify popular photo-sharing apps and walk kids and parents through safety and privacy features.” The guides also answer “the top five questions parents have about these photo-sharing apps so popular with kids including:

* Why kids love these apps
* What the risks of each app are
* How to help kids stay safe using the apps
* How to report abuse and block problem users
* How to use privacy settings

ConnectSafely also has guides to using Facebook and Google+.

Instagram Name Tagging: Larry Magid on What Parents Need To Know

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

If you don’t already know Instagram is used but a lot of kids and teens to communicate with one another. The picture sharing app was bought recently by Facebook. Instagram has added a new feature that allows users to “add” the names of people in their photos to their posts. There are both public and private settings and parents and teens alike should know the difference. Larry Magid breaks it down in this post.

Parental Controls for the Kids’ Tech This Holiday

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

More and more technology is the go to gift from parents and from Santa around the holidays. Once the boxes are unboxed make sure to take a few moments setting up parental controls on those game consoles, iPads, and phones this year. The USA Today’s blog has some great advice for parents in a blog post titled “Setting up your child’s new tech gifts“. Check it out.

V Cast Apps by Verizon Spotlights Net Safety Tips OTG App

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Today Verizon Wireless started spotlighting Net Safety Tips On The Go, the first-ever digital safety and security advice app for Android smartphones and tablets as part of National Internet Safety Month. Net Safety Tips OTG is also featured in the Parental Controls Center, Verizon Wireless’ comprehensive website with information to help consumers manage and create a digital experience that’s just right for their families.

Net Safety Tips On The Go, developed by GetNetWise.org, is available to Verizon Wireless customers through V CAST Apps.  V CAST Apps gives Verizon Wireless customers an ever-expanding selection of games, productivity tools, entertainment and news apps.  We are pleased to be featured so prominently by Verizon Wireless, whose dedication to family safety and personal privacy is astonishing.

The content for Net Safety Tips OTG is contributed by three of the other premier online safety education organizations in the world — Common Sense Media, ConnectSafely.org, OnGuardOnline.gov. This innovative app makes it easy for consumers and families to keep up with mobile and online privacy, safety, and security issues using their Android smartphone or tablet. Net Safety Tips OTG is also looking for additional content partners. Contact us at info@netsafetyapp.org

If you have an Android phone or tablet download the App from the Market by searching for “Net Safety Tips.” Visit http://netsafetyapp.org/ for more information.

Additional Links

Verizon Wireless Press Release

Now Available in V CAST Apps: Net Safety Tips On The Go – The First-Ever Online Safety and Security Education App

FierceWireless Article

Verizon, Google team on Android digital safety and security app
June 20, 2011, By Jason Ankeny

 

 

Download 1st-Ever Digital Safety App for Your Smartphone

Monday, January 31st, 2011

GetNetWise is proud to contribute content to the “First-Ever Online Safety & Security Education App Available on Smartphone Platform.” It was developed by GNW’s parent, Internet Education Foundation, along with Google and Verizon and the content is contributed by three of the other premier online safety education organizations in the world — Common Sense Media, ConnectSafely.org, OnGuardOnline.gov. This innovative app makes it easy for consumers and families to keep up with mobile and online privacy, safety, and security issues using their Android smartphone or tablet.

If you have an Android phone or tablet download the App from the Market by searching for “Net Safety Tips.” Visit http://netsafetyapp.org/ for more information. The press release is here.

Get a Glympse of Where Your T(w)een Is

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

“Where are you?” That’s the way the vast majority of mobile calls and texts start — and it’s the question parents always ask of their t(w)eens. Parents have a frenetic need to always know “where” their children are. Unlike the era before the mobile phone parents now have a better sense of where their children are. Recent studies by Pew Internet & American Life Project show that the supermajority of teens have mobile phones.

Many parents simply call their children and ask them where they are. While teens use mobile phones, they seldom use them to speak. Asking a teen to “answer” or pick up a call may be a tall order. You will need to learn how to text “where R U?” if you want a more prompt response.

Some wireless carriers offer parents GPS location tracking services for their children’s phones. Now, smartphones contain a growing array of Apps that can be used by parents to quickly locate their children.

A really interesting and easy App that parents can use is called Glympse (available on iPhone, Android and Windows 7). Glympse is an App that allows t(w)eens to quickly send to their parents a glympse of where they are on a map. Unlike other location tracking tools, Glympse allows users to send a short duration peak at where they are. After the specified period of time is over the other person can no longer view the location of the user — it simply times out. We think this is a very effective privacy feature. Check out the “What is Glympse” page for a helpful video.

Of course there are some caveats. Keep in mind that parents should use tools like Glympse responsibly and realize that they are not foolproof. Parents should explain to their children why they want them to check in with their location (who knows, kids may rather send a Glympse than a text message or, heaven forbid, actually talk on the phone). Further, never ask your teen to initiate a Glympse or text while they are driving a car. And lastly, use this conversation as an opportunity to talk to your children about your concerns with their sharing their location information with people they don’t know or don’t trust. We are generally concerned with the amount of uninformed location sharing that is being done on social networking sites and mobile phones.

Good luck.

Are Teens Broadcasting Their Mobile Location on Facebook?

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Are Teens Broadcasting Their Mobile Location on Facebook? Well, yes. Should parents be overly concerned? Not that much more concerned than having their teens use Facebook at all. Let’s back up. Over a month ago Facebook launched “Places,” a service where people can use their GPS mobile phones to “check in” to locations such as restaurants, concert halls, and schools. Once checked in, Facebook notifies other Facebook users that John Doe just checked in to “Potbelly Sandwich.”

Obviously, those of us in the online safety community are deeply, deeply concerned about nefarious use of a child’s physical location. Frankly, the thought is terrifying. Thus parents and social networking companies need to take the distribution of kids’ mobile location very seriously.

Now, for teen users (those under 18 yeas old) Facebook only allows their “Friends” to see the places they have checked into. Even if the teen foolishly changes their privacy settings to allow “Everyone” to see their information, Facebook automatically prohibits anyone but the teen’s friend from seeing their mobile location in the physical world. This is a positive privacy and safety measure by Facebook. However, this auto feature does not exist for those over the age of 17 who set their profile to “Everyone”

Of course, the teen’s safety and privacy really hinges on whether they trust those in her “Friends” list. As a general rule, parents should talk to teens about limiting their Facebook “Friends” list to only those they know and trust. If they don’t, none of their information is safe — especially their physical location.

More about Places can be found on ConnectSafely.org and on Facebook itself.

Help From Google: How Families Can Use Google More Safely

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Google Consolidates Family Safety Tips and Tools In The New Family Safety Center

Today Google launched its new Family Safety Center — a one stop shop for great Google tips and tools for staying safe online. It’s featured at Google.com/familysafety/. The Family Safety Center interface is typical of Google’s other products and services — it’s clean and easy-to-navigate. The Center presents family safety resources for using the Google ecosystem of products and services such as Safe Searching (including Mobile) and YouTube family safety. It also provides great advice on how you can help everyone’s safety online by reporting abuse.

If your family uses lots of Google services like search, YouTube and Picassa, you can find instructions and videos on how to use these products more safely. The safe search information shows you how to prevent sexually explicit search results — and make that setting permanent. You can also learn how to make YouTube searches safer for kids.

See More at Google’s Blog post

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