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BBB: Keeping Your Kids Safe Online


More news as it relates to what you share online…especially involving your children.  The Better Business Bureau of Western Michigan recently offered tips for “Keeping Kids’ Information Safe Online.”

“You should always protect your personal information but it goes another step to you have to protect your information as well as your children.”

Social media initially made connecting with family and friends easier… but reports say the platforms have grown so rapidly that many may not have had ample time to analyze the consequences.

“What we’re finding is like the parents, kids haven’t really been taken care of as far as privacy concerns go as far as the apps they use. They use particular apps and from that their information can be funneled and used by other folks.”

That’s John Masterson, Marketing Director for the Better Business Bureau serving Western Michigan

He says the BBB has tips to maintain your child’s right to online privacy and avoid overexposing your family’s information. One of which is to pause and think before posting.

“Children nowadays have grown up on line.  So literally everything they’ve done on line is public and  likely being tracked and who knows how it is being used, now or down the road.”

Masterson says you also may want to avoid embarrassing photos of your kids as they could possibly be used against them later in life.  He says the same goes for innocent baby photos. What’s adorable to you, could be misused by others.

“But also, we’ve heard of people taking pictures of newborns and you inadvertently feed into nefarious things on line.  So it’s really important to know what you’re sharing and how much you’re sharing.”

Other tips include learning the privacy settings on your social networks, setting photos to the highest priority setting.  Avoid using hashtags like #nakedbaby and the like as it may open the door to ill-intentioned-predators.  Set limits and stick to them.  Establish ground rules for use on devices and apps you give your children permission to use.

Jennifer is an award winning broadcast news journalist with more than two decades of professional television news experience including the nation's fifth largest news market. She's worked as both news reporter and news anchor for television and radio in markets from Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo all the way to San Francisco, California.