Personal Safety

Kids and digital footprints: 6 things kids should know to keep them safer online

Kids and digital footprints: 6 things kids should know to keep them safer online

by Kristen Chase | Aug 29, 2018 | Internet Safety , Tips
Keeping our kids safe and healthy is our number job as parents. And with so many of them using smartphones and other electronic devices, their online safety has become a huge part of that.
At Cool Mom Tech, we have always provided parents with helpful advice and resources when it comes to keeping our kids safer on the internet, which is why we’re so thrilled to be teaming up with our sponsor, Allstate, because they know a lot about protecting those you love.
Allstate has recently launched a new, easily accessible digital safety resource called HiddenWorldOfData.com to help parents empower their kids to make smarter choices online, and teach kids about what a digital footprint is, and why it makes such an impact.
That’s especially important considering more than 1/3 of respondents in Allstate’s recent research study had no idea what a digital footprint was. And those are adults!
So on their behalf, we’re sharing 6 strategies to help kids manage their digital footprint, so that you can help keep them safe while they enjoy using the internet, apps and their favorite gadgets responsibly. 1. Know that all info you put online is there forever.
As we always tell our kids, don’t put anything online that you wouldn’t want to be made public. This is really the essence of a digital footprint.
Kids should know that all information online lives somewhere — forever. So while it’s really important to talk about not sharing inappropriate photos, not participating in any kind of cyberbullying, and how colleges and employers now do social media searches of potential candidates, it’s also important for kids to just understand the trail of digital breadcrumbs we all leave all over the web.
Anything we put online, from credit card information and purchase history, to personal data, your social media likes and even information in your “private” chats still exists.
Once kids know this basic fact, it can help them make better digital choices in general. 2. Avoid giving out personal information on social media
When we talk to parents, we know the number one thing they tell their kids about internet safety is never to share personal information like birthdays, their full name, their phone number, their school name or their hometown. And that’s great!
However, most parents do this out of a fear of “tricky people” — even while the greater risk has to do with managing your digital footprint.
Because all information online lives somewhere, the more info you put out there, the more of a trail of digital breadcrumbs you’re leaving all over the web.
P.S. Tell your kids not to publicly answer those quizzes that ask you to put together your middle name and the street you grew up on to “learn your rock star name.” Things like your middle name, your pet’s name, your hometown or street are often password reset questions! 3. Check your child’s location services settings
We’ve frequently discussed the pros and cons of using location services on kids’ gadgets. On one hand, it’s ideal for kids not have their locations tied to photographs that they might be posting at their homes, schools or after-school activities.
On the other hand, many parents make use of location apps to help track of kids’ whereabouts, and that requires turning on location services.
With that in mind, it’s a good idea to discuss the issues with your family and make a decision based on how you all connect digitally. If you do decide to turn on location services, one suggestion is to be sure it’s deactivated on photo sharing and social apps. In fact, you can go app by app in your phone preferences and check what’s selected.
You can also suggest that your kids wait until they’re home to post photos of activities. Because even while they may not tag their location specifically, their locations may still be identified in the photo metadata.
About our sponsor
Even though Americans are highly knowledgeable about personal data protection and think it’s important, according to new research from Allstate , nearly half of Americans (47%) have had their information compromised online. Yikes!
What you may not know: The younger you are, the higher the risk of having information stolen. That’s because younger people tend to be less informed about online privacy and security, and take more risks with the information they share online.
That’s why Allstate launched HiddenWorldOfData.com , a smart resource to help parents (and anyone who uses the Internet) gain a better understanding of digital footprints and overall online safety. The site shows you what you can do to keep yourself and your kids safer, thanks to helpful tips and simple strategies, all in one handy place.

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