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Posts Tagged ‘Privacy’

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.

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.

Kids’ Revised Online Privacy Explained by FTC

Friday, April 26th, 2013

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) revised it’s online kids privacy rule recently. The new rules go into effect this summer. Parents of children under 13 years old probably won’t notice many changes to how their kids interact with their web sites. But our friend Larry Magid explains the changes in this Forbes post.

NFN on Snapchat: Privacy as perishable as the photos

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Our friend Anne Collier at NetFamilyNews wrote a great piece about the fun app SnapChat, but also warns about a false sense of security. See post at Snapchat: Privacy as perishable as the photos.

Google+ Is Open For Teens, Here’s a Parent’s Guide

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Google+ is Google’s social networking service and until now it’s been closed to teens. The Google+ team delayed teens’ access so that they can build a safe and sensible social networking environment for teens from the ground up rather than retrofitting one later. Our friends at ConnnectSafely.org have developed “A Parent’s Guide to Google +” that explains the service and its approach to safety and security. Check it out here.

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.

Seen a friend’s email hijacked? Don’t let it happen to you.

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Spammers and identity thieves have committed a rash of email hijacks lately. Maybe you’ve seen a friend’s email account hacked, sending out unwanted spam. These new email account hijacks are a disturbing twist on an old hack. In most cases users’ email accounts are taken over and used to send out spam. In a new twist identity thieves are using the email accounts to steal passwords and your identity and access online accounts such as Amazon, banks, etc. Often these ID thefts result in the deletion of your email account. Don’t let this happen to you.

K.C. Budd wrote a great set of tips about preventing email account hijacking and posted it on his Facebook page. Don’t be a victim.

Is Xbox Kinect Family Friendly?

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Today Microsoft just launch their much-anticipated Kinect for Xbox 360 along with new Family Safety Settings. If you’re not familiar with the Xbox Kinect, you’ll be amazed after watching the video on the Xbox site. Last month GetNetWise Advisory Board members were invited to an advanced demo for Kinect. Later we received an extremely professional briefing by Microsoft’s top safety and security executives. In short, Kinect is not only amazing, it also takes into account a myriad set of privacy and safety issues so that it is as family safe as possible. In David Pogue’s NY Times review he writes “The Kinect’s astonishing technology creates a completely new activity that’s social, age-spanning and even athletic.”

At GetNetWise.org we were also pleased to see that Microsoft has updated its already robust family safety settings to accompany the Kinect launch. Below is a list of new family safe features provided by Microsoft executives.

New Family Settings include:

  • Intelligent default settings for children, teens and adults. When Console Safety is turned “On,” Xbox automatically assigns default privacy and activity settings for each Xbox LIVE member, based on age. For example, for children under 13, the default settings include blocking profile sharing and text, voice and video chat, and turning on Family Programming. These settings can be individually customized by parents.
  • Video Kinect. Allows users to video chat over Xbox LIVE with friends and family. Family Settings automatically block this feature for Child profiles, but parents and caregivers can customize whether (and with whom) their children can video chat.
  • Kinect Share. Enables users to share pictures captured during Kinect games like “Kinect Adventures!” on social media pages like Facebook. Kinect Share is automatically blocked for Child profiles but parents can decide to allow this feature for any profile.
  • Family Programming. When turned on, Family Programming prevents the display of mature content on the dashboard and highlights family-friendly entertainment.
  • Game Title Exceptions. Parents have the ability to allow their family members to play specific games with content ratings above the console’s designated maximum if they deem the title appropriate.

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.

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