How to keep your kids safe online

Kids might not understand the implications of what they post online. Credit: Getty Images
Kids might not understand the implications of what they post online.
Credit: Getty Images

Internet safety and digital parenting expert Hilary DeCesare answers our questions about the changes to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and what you need to do to make sure your little ones are safe while navigating the Internet.

Can you tell us a little bit more about COPPA?
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act was enacted to protect children under 13 online, and the parents of children under 13 committed to keeping their kids safe online.
Last year the FTC amended it. What are the new rules?
They needed to keep up with evolving technology and changes in the way children use and access the Internet. This includes the ever-increasing use of mobile devices and social networking sites. The amendments, which go into effect July 1, will require 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 to notify parents and get their verifiable consent before they can collect, use or disclose a child’s personal information. They will also be required to keep the information they collect from children secure. This information includes geo-locations, photos, videos and audio files that contain a child’s image or voice.
Last month, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano spoke to the importance of teaching “good cyber hygiene” to today’s youth. What does good cyber hygiene mean?
It’s also called cyber etiquette, or digital etiquette, and it means acting appropriately online. At young ages, children have no idea what “forever” means and therefore don’t understand the implications of what they post online. Unfortunately, if they happen to post this content on non-COPPA sites, the content is out there forever. Some examples of this are posting inappropriate pictures or other media, and posting personal information including full names, addresses, phone numbers, schools, etc. Posting the latter can even result in cyber-stalking, or predators gaining information about the child. Learning good cyber hygiene helps kids understand what is and isn’t appropriate, and trains them to be responsible digital citizens.

 What is the appropriate age for children to begin going online?
Every child is different. While some are happy to wait to go online until they are 13, many children wish to get on the Web at an earlier age. In fact, among very young children (up to 5 years old) who use the Internet, about 80 percent do so at least once a week. If children decide to go online at a young age, it is important they respect platform age minimums; for example, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter ask that you be 13 or older to use their sites, as they are not COPPA-compliant. If children are online in an appropriate space, it is good for them to learn how to be a responsible digital citizen.

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Turkey: Voting begins in country's first direct presidential…

Some 53 million people are able to vote in the election, including 2.8 million citizens abroad. Until now, Turkish presidents were elected by parliament.

News

Libya seeks ceasefire as south Tripoli a militia…

By Patrick Markey and Aziz El YaakoubiTRIPOLI (Reuters) - Black plumes of smoke marked shell blasts and bulldozed earthen barricades mapped out the frontlines around…

Breaking: News

Russia mad about sanctions, says U.S. contributing to…

Russia reacted angrily on Saturday to additional sanctions imposed by the European Union over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis, saying they would hamper cooperation…

National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Television

'Game of Thrones' livens up Comic Con with…

By Piya Sinha-RoySAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Laughter and death did battle on Friday at HBO's "Game of Thrones" panel at Comic Con, one of the…

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.