The little digital natives we are currently raising certainly do have a knack for tech. How do you monitor your children’s privacy online?
“Oh, my two-year-old knows her way around my smartphone better than I do!”
If you haven’t heard that humble brag out of a friend or family member yet, just give it through the holidays, you will.
Every kid seems to know how to open the PBS Kids app, take photos of their chubby little feet, and occasionally post them to Instagram. Parents laugh when their tot tries to swipe every screen they see with their finger (presumably searching for Angry Birds), but deep down, it is a little terrifying. Our kids are connected. Super connected. But the question is, connected to what?
In a recent FTC survey, 60 percent of the kids’ apps surveyed are transmitting information from a users’ device back to the app developer or, more commonly, to an advertising network, analytics company, or other third party. And making it harder on parents, only 20 percent provided privacy information. Key things like: what data is being collected from their children, how it is being shared, or who will have access to it.
“While we think most companies have the best intentions when it comes protecting kids’ privacy, we haven’t seen any progress when it comes to making sure parents have the information they need to make informed choices about apps for their kids. In fact, our study shows that kids’ apps siphon an alarming amount of information from mobile devices without disclosing this fact to parents,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.
The FTC wants more transparency and easy-to-understand privacy options so parents can make confident decisions about their children’s privacy online.
In the meantime, SecureIT’s application audit feature can provide some assistance. It tells you if an application can access private data, send messages, connect to the Internet or perform any other function that might pose a security risk or incur additional charges.
You can’t bubble wrap your kids. But SecureIT is a simple way to add a layer of protection.