Protecting Your Child from Online Predators
October 3, 2018
Being a parent was never easy to begin with, but the addition of the internet into our lives has made it that much more difficult. Parents have to worry about identity thieves, miners, sexual predators and what not. If you knew about the kind of people out there looking to exploit your kid, you would introduce a no-internet rule in your house altogether! It is true that the internet is a scary place, but what can you do to secure your kid’s online activity? You can’t protect your kid unless you know what is at risk!
Someone Could Be Spying On Your Kid
Kids play with toys such as Hello Barbie, CloudPets and My Friend Cayla. If one kid in the neighborhood has it, chances are that in the next week, every kid in the neighborhood will have it too. But what parents don’t know is that these toys have privacy problems! Who thought the day would come? Hackers target innocent kids to retrieve their social security numbers for creating fake IDs, and the do it through these seemingly harmless toys.
What to Do
In a world like this, you need to check the privacy policies of even toys before you buy them. You need to ensure that the information required by a toy is only essential information and not optional one. When your kid is done playing with the toy, make sure you turn it off.
Someone Could Track Your Kid
Several social media websites that are common among even kids like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are location based. This might reveal your kid’s actual physical location to predators online, along with their pictures and contacts. Something as simple and seemingly harmless as a geo-tagged photo might become life threatening for your kid.
What to Do
Try any renowned VPN service as it encrypts devices and data. This way, no matter what your kid does on his device, the location will always be bounced off a server from the other corner of the world. If you aren’t looking to spend money, educate your kid about the dangers that the internet brings with itself.
It is not easy to monitor everything your child does online, the best we can do is all we can and pray that they remain safe. A few pointers that we have provided you with should help protect your child online from predators.
Someone Could Accuse Your Kid of a Crime
You are entitled to your own privacy, especially in the comfort of your own home. But with additions such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa, your conversations are no longer safe even in your own home. These devices collect and store an enormous amount of recordings they pick up on. If it comes to a court subpoena, Google and Amazon will turn those recordings over without so much as a hiccup.
If your kid makes a terrorism or racism related joke, an investigation could open into those. A prosecutor in Arkansas requested a murder suspect’s Echo smart speaker to retrieve information from it that might help the case. The suspect handed over the device and Amazon had to comply with the court order.
What to Do
In order to protect yourself and your kid, you should turn off your home assistant’s microphone when it is not being used. You can also toggle around in the settings and delete recordings so that they are not uploaded onto the device’s cloud servers. If none of these seem suitable, we recommend staying clear of a home assistant until your kid is old enough to know he is being listened to.
Someone Could Use Your Kid’s Performance Records
Several schools in the United States use third-party providers to enhance learning experience by diagnosing several learning issues in children. This includes standardized tests, online lessons as well as device programs. The companies that encourage this are allowed to keep, analyze and even sell your kid’s performance records.
Chances are that if you are receiving supplemental reading class recommendations in the mail for your kid, it is through those third-party providers. You may not think that this is a big deal right now but this is as big as an Ivy League college rejecting your kid’s application based on grades he got years ago in middle school. It’s really quite absurd.
What to Do
If you have been made aware of the fact that your kid will be using some third-party apps in school, find out all you can about these apps. Teach your kid to only provide necessary information and not optional information about his personal and school life. We also recommend reading through privacy policies of these apps and trying them out yourself first.