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Common Sense Media

Family Tips For Digital Safety

Help Boost Kids' Safety, Privacy, and Security

When kids go online, whether they're playing multiplayer games, using social media apps, or posting their latest creative expressions, it's important that they understand how to keep their private information safe. With tips on how to avoid scams and protect their personal data, tweens and teens can travel all over the digital world -- and still be in charge of their digital footprints.

Check out these 4 tips

Use privacy settings.

Sit down with tweens and teens to show the privacy settings you use on your apps and devices. Talk about why you keep certain information private or limited to a small group. Ask them what information they feel comfortable sharing and why.

Read the fine print.

Find the privacy policy of your kid's favorite app and read it together. Is it clear or complicated? Can you tell what information the company collects and what they do with it? Are they selling it? Storing it? Keeping it safe?

Discuss online scams, clickbait, and "special offers."

Share experiences of being targeted for a scam. Have either of you ever received a fishy email or text? What tipped you off? Discuss the telltale signs of a hoax, including poor grammar, misspellings, Photoshopped images, and close-but-not-exact company logos. And don't forget quizzes and tantalizing pop-ups, which can disguise shady privacy practices.

Understand how tech companies make money.

Along with your tween and teen, research how digital devices, social media platforms, and apps and games get paid. Do they sell ads? Do they sell kids' data? What steps can you take to limit the amount of data you share while still using the platforms?

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