#CyberFLASH: Six reasons why you really should care about your kids’ online privacy

Children Interacting With Tablet TechnologyOnline privacy is a little like your weird Uncle Bob. He’s hard to understand, and you really only miss him when he’s gone.

And just like Uncle Bob, online privacy can sound a little paranoid. Internet predators. Online safety. Data mining. These issues are far-ranging and murky, so they’re easy to brush aside. What you or your kid posts or fills out online can wind up in the wrong hands, affecting your kid’s future, safety, and reputation.

It may be hard to care about Uncle Bob, but here are six reasons why you really should care about online privacy.

Your kid’s identity could be stolen.
Internet-enabled toys and kids’ devices store information about your kid “in the cloud” (which is just a cool name for servers). As the 2015 data breach of Vtech’s InnoTab Max uncovered, hackers specifically target kids because they offer clean credit histories and unused Social Security numbers.

Your kid could get hurt.
Sharing whereabouts on location-aware social media such as Twitter, Kik, or Facebook reveals kids’ physical locations to all their contacts – plenty of whom your kid doesn’t know personally. Imagine a selfie that’s location-tagged and says “Bored, by myself, just hanging out looking for something fun to do.”

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