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4 Things To Know About Children’s Online Privacy

4 Things To Know About Children’s Online Privacy

We know our privacy is important, but in a world where we put our entire lives online and carry around a device that tracks our every click, scroll, and move, knowing how to protect it or why it matters can be confusing–especially when it comes to our kids. When things like the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal happen, we know it’s bad, but why?

Online Privacy = Real Life Privacy

This writer recently had a conversation with a friend about how daycare apps are dangerously insecure, lacking even two-factor authentication, to which she responded, “Who cares?” However, if we told her that a stranger was staring into the windows of her daycare, staring at her child and slowly collecting information about her child, including his name, address, age, and behaviors, the police would be called, investigations started, and panic afoot. So why is it that we don’t tie the two together? If someone broke into our home and stole our safe with all our child’s personal records, it would be a massive invasion of privacy. Yet we continue to use apps and devices that we willingly allow to collect that information to build online profiles of our kiddos.

Consent Is A Major Issue

We teach kids consent in school at a very young age, and for good reason, but as parents where does their consent come into play against our free will? With many children’s digital footprints starting before birth with ultrasound photos, due date announcements, and the proliferation of smart toys, “parents are revealing far more information than they realize about their children,” leaving very little information about our children that’s truly private. Where we were given the choice of privacy, don’t our kids deserve it too?

It’s A Safety Issue

There’s an episode of “Dexter” that aired back in 2009 (which shows you how much it has haunted us) where the serial killer lures a child to his car by using the parent’s and children’s names from the family sticker on a car window. It’s been 13 years since this episode aired and we still think about it. Yet every day, we share this information willingly on social media and geotag it with their location, in real-time. Those first few weeks of school roll around and we’re all sharing these:

If a stranger asked you your child’s name, date of birth, school, and teacher’s name--you’d call 911. Yet in one photo, we’re giving away a massive amount of our child’s personal information without thinking about the potential consequences. 

We’re Setting The Example

The world’s a little Orwellian “1984” right now: a zombie horde of teens walking to school with eyes glued to their smartphones, families not speaking because they’re all glued to their screens, 64% of kids naming “Influencer” as their career of choice when they grow up…but can we shame it if we’re doing the same thing? If we’re oversharing on social media and spending too much time scrolling (the average amongst parents is 9 hours per day of screentime), what kind of example are we setting for them? We teach them not to share personal information with strangers or on message boards, but if they see us detailing every second of our lives online, why would they act differently? 

We have a strict moral code on not using fear marketing or scare tactics to get you to choose our products--we’re parents too and already know the world is scary. We share topics like this to get you to think twice before you post and give you the knowledge to make the best decision for your family. If you’re looking for a safe pre-cell phone for kids (that also happens to be certified by a COPPA Safe Harbor Program), take a look at our kids smartwatches. Have a question about online privacy? DM us @myticktalk.

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