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Loss of Privacy

There are many ways young people and adults can lose their privacy on the Internet, and all have their own dangers. Disclosing your address, telephone number, or even your name to a stranger can put you or family members in danger. It's also important to warn children not to give out information that could jeopardize others - family members, friends, teachers, and classmates.

Sometimes companies and organizations collect information about children for use in marketing, fundraising, and other activities. Children should also be instructed not to give out personal information to Web sites of companies and organizations, even if they have heard of them or have good feelings about them. That includes registering for contests or filling out forms in exchange for prizes, or for the right to download software, or for any other purpose. Children should never reveal any information about themselves without first checking with their parents. Even reputable companies may not obtain information about children without parents' permission; current (Please be aware, this link will take you away from the resource)law protects the privacy of children online. Besides, it's possible for someone to create a Web site that looks like it's from a reputable company but really is not. Software tools exist to restrict sensitive personal information from being transmitted online; you can learn more about them here.

Parents should read the company's privacy policy carefully prior to disclosing personal information about a family member.

Ways to protect your child and family's privacy include:

  • Instruct your child not to reveal any personal information without parental permission.
  • Consider installing a filter that prevents your child from entering his or her name, address, phone number, or other material.
  • Consider installing monitoring software that will disclose if your child has entered personal information.
  • Consider preventing your child from using chat groups.
  • Consider monitoring your child's incoming and outgoing e-mail.
  • Consider limiting chat only to people your child knows or requiring that he chat only in moderated chat areas run by reputable companies or organizations.
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