Hitting the Reset Button on your Family’s Privacy Practices

(NC) The end of an old year and the dawn of a new one is an opportunity to hit the reset button and to adopt good habits that will help protect your family’s personal information throughout the year.

The online world offers convenience, but also carries risks for privacy. Organizations have a responsibility to protect your personal information, but there are also steps you and your family can take.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada encourages Canadians to learn about the apps and services your children are using, encourage them to limit the information they share with others, and take a closer look at the privacy settings on your family’s accounts and devices. A good way to start is by talking with your kids. It’s important to know about the places your kids visit on the Internet and the devices they use to go online, to help you understand the nature of personal information they may be sharing.

To this end, dive in. Try out the family webcam if you have one, play the online games they love, create a profile on the social networking sites they frequent, for example.

Most sites have extensive privacy options that children should learn to use. For each site where your kids are posting information about themselves, their family and their friends, sit down with them and review that site’s privacy policy. Then modify the privacy settings of their account together and have them consider how the information they are posting could be used – or misused – by others.

Finally, your kids should understand that once they post content online, they no longer have control over it. It can be forwarded, copied and pasted, manipulated, printed out or saved – it can remain online, in some form, potentially forever. They should know that deleting information doesn’t mean that it’s gone forever.

Find more privacy tips for parents at youthprivacy.ca

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