Privacy is something to think about every time we use the internet. There are a lot of things we can do to protect our privacy online. Here are some suggestions and resources to share with children.
» Know what you are agreeing to
Learn what data your apps and devices collect about you. What do they share with others? Who can see your stuff? Who owns what you post? Read the Terms and Conditions about privacy (read a child-friendly version for some apps here).
» Tighten your privacy
Check your privacy settings. Consider making your profile private and disabling functions you don’t need (e.g. your location, third party cookies, advertising and interest preferences, profile visibility).
» Clean your device
Go through your apps regularly and remove anything you don’t use to avoid unnecessary apps collecting your data. Clean the cookies and browsing history on your devices.
» Clean your online profiles
Delete any social media profiles you no longer use. Review your profiles and see if you want to delete anything: e.g. photos, comments, posts, friends, groups, likes, your profile information.
» Know what you look like online
Try to find out what the internet knows about you by searching your name. Try to remove any content that you think should not be online.
» Know what to share
Never share your passwords. Avoid sharing your location. Only post information you are happy for everyone to see – even 10 years from now. Be aware of your online reputation and protect your own privacy and that of your friends.
» Make a positive digital footprint
The internet can be a great place to socialise, have fun and learn. You can create a positive online reputation about yourself by being considerate and thoughtful.
Resources for parents
A guide to social networking sites: guidance and tips for parents (4 mins, Childnet).
Your privacy and mobile apps: find tips for protecting your personal information when downloading and using mobile apps (2 mins, by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada)
Teach parents tech: watch a short video on how to set privacy settings on social media (3 mins) and how to browse the internet privately (2 mins), read about 7 practical steps to improve your digital parenting (1 min) (by FOSI)
12 quick privacy tips for parents: practical advice aiming to help you limit the risks to your children’s personal information, while allowing them to make the most of their time online (3 mins, by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada)
Keeping Up With Kids' Apps: an infographic that helps parents find out what apps might be doing but might not be telling them and what they can do about it (2 mins, Federal Trade Commission)
Top tips for minimising children’s data footprints: read about several easy steps you can take which will significantly reduce your child's data footprint (2 mins, by the Children’s Commissioner for England)
Do-it-yourself house rules for online privacy: suggested privacy rules tailored to what your child does online (4 mins, by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada)
Privacy evaluation: privacy evaluations of edtech tools (including company policies on safety, privacy, security, and compliance) that can help you choose apps for your child (2 mins, by Common Sense)
Data detox: an online toolkit for improving control over online digital profiles (Tactical Technology Collective)
Digital parenting guide: designed to prepare parents and guardians for the conversations they should have with their children when they first start using digital devices (29 pages of light text, by MediaSmarts)
Parenting the digital generation: an online tutorial that looks at the various activities children love to do online and offers tips and strategies for everything from Facebook privacy settings, online shopping, cyberbullying, to protecting your computer from viruses (24 mins, can select different topics, by MediaSmarts)
Resources to recommend to children