New technologies are constantly improving our lives and adding convenience and efficiency for users. However, these improvements are accompanied by widespread invasions into our privacy. Technology is constantly changing, but the laws surrounding it are lagging behind. The laws that were reasonable in the 1990s no longer fit the way people use the internet and other technologies. Another factor that makes governing digital privacy difficult is that kids are introduced to connected devices at a younger age.
Parents can limit how much time kids spend with screens. Unfortunately, it is difficult to limit the information that the device collects about the user. This applies to adults as well. If you ignore how a device tracks you, you are vulnerable to losing your personal information.
Lifehacker recently published an article titled, “How Much Digital Privacy Should You Give Your Kids?“. Sean Grover, a psychotherapist, suggests that how much independence you give your children depends mostly on his or her age and personality. Grover suggests that the amount of privacy your child has should depend on their emotional and social well-being. Complete independence is fine as long as the child doesn’t become socially isolated and engulfed in the digital realm.
Digital Privacy Tools/Rules for Kids
Lifehacker mentions a “watchdog engine” called Bark that uses algorithms to look for digital issues such as cyberbullying, sexting, drug-related content and signs of depression. If Bark sees a potential issue, it will alert parents and recommend actions on how to handle the situation. This tool allows kids to be more independent online, but still allows parents to know if internet use becomes negative. Follow Bark’s blog for information about different apps and how to keep your kids safe online.
Children are exposed to the same threats online as adults, however they may not be prepared to react and minimize their risk. Kids, like adults, should have strong passwords and utilize privacy features on social media and search engines. Read the entire article here to learn more about how to handle technology with children.
This article, “How to Teach Your Kids About Digital Privacy and Security” is another good resource for parents. The author, Priya Kumar, explains that parents of younger children should understand all the ways that they may be communicating online. While they may not use social media, there are other channels available to them. According to the article, “among children ages 5 to 8, 59 percent have their own tablet and 7 percent have their own smartphone.” These figures are likely to rise as more technology develops for younger users.