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Privacy and Security


With the increased use of the Internet worldwide, it is even more important to protect the information we are sharing.  Privacy is much different now in the digital world.  Almost every app, program and website is looking for you to share some personal information.  Some information can be fine to share, but how do kids know what is alright and what is not when online? 

To Share or Not to Share? (What is fine for kids to share and what is NOT?)

OK to Share Online:
  • Hobbies
  • Interests
  • Family photo with permission
NOT OK to Share Online:
  • Full Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Password
  • School Name
  • Email Address (without permission)
  • Anything that tells current or future location

What Can Parents do to Help?

  • Talk to your child about privacy settings
    • Many sites and apps have privacy settings to restrict what information is shared.  Be sure your child knows where to find these as well as how to adjust them.
  • Pay attention to location services
    • Sites and apps are able to keep track of your location based on GPS information.  Be sure your child disables this service in the settings.
  • Create strong passwords
    • Make sure your child understands the importance of creating a strong password that others can't guess.  Spend time helping your child create a strong password that can be easily remembered.
      • A STRONG password should contain 8-20 characters and be a combination of uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and symbols.
  • Avoid online scams
    • Work with your child to recognize and avoid online scams.  Many times children and elderly persons are the targets of online scams.
Common Sense Media - Online Privacy


Conversation Starters

Questions you can use to get a conversation started with your child about online privacy.
  • Why do you think it's important to only add "friends" that you know in real life online?
  • Do you know how to update and change your privacy settings on websites and apps?
  • How easy do you think your passwords are to guess?  How could you make them stronger?
  • Do you know how to disable the location setting on your apps and websites?
  • What information do you think is OK to share with a site/app? What is NOT OK to share?  Why?
For questions about this information, contact Chad Kliefoth (608) 267-9289, Janice Mertes (608) 267-1054