New York, NY, November 10, 2010 --(PR.com
)-- Wee Wee (www.wee-web.com) released a comprehensive set of guidelines today to advise parents on safely sharing information about their children online. According to the October 6, 2010 study by security company AVG, the vast majority of parents share information about their children online with family and friends. However, parents often don’t consider the implications on their children’s privacy and safety.
The AVG study revealed that 92% of US children have a digital footprint by the time they are two years old. 33% begin their digital life before birth and another 33% make their online debut the day they are born. While it’s important for parents to include others in their children’s lives, it’s also important for them to stay informed about how to do it safely.
What’s the worry?
Online safety is about more than avoiding dramatic but improbable risks. From protecting a child’s identity from fraudsters to building a child’s digital history that that won’t infringe upon their lives in the future, parents need to think more about the security of the information they share about their children.
“Being careful about a child’s digital footprint should in no way stop parents from sharing their children’s lives with others,” says Wee Web co-founder, Cory Bronson. “It’s natural for families to want to experience a child’s growth together. However, today’s parents have a greater responsibility to be intelligent about what and how they share information. Creating a safe digital footprint for their children is about staying informed and following some basic guidelines.”
What’s the answer?
According to Wee Web, there are a few key things that parents should understand when deciding how to share their child’s information. Wee Web offers a detailed accounting of this at www.wee-web.com/safe-sharing. A summary of these issues include:
Manage Privacy Settings: Many social networks, blogs and photo-sharing sites offer privacy controls. Parents should make sure that their settings reflect the level of privacy they want and should be careful not to assume that the default settings will offer enough privacy – many sites want to encourage wider sharing. Limiting the number of services that host information and media can help – having multiple services means having to keep up-to-date on the settings and security for all of them.
Ownership Of Content: Each site has its own Terms of Service agreement. Before posting anything, parents should read the Terms of Service to understand what rights the service maintains about posted content and make sure that they feel comfortable agreeing to the terms. While a site will usually grant its users full intellectual property rights to everything they post, it may reserve the right to reproduce or publically distribute any user content it hosts. Parents should also check a service’s policy on deleting media as many sites keep a backup copy of content even after it has been deleted or removed by the user. If there’s a backup copy of a photo or video out there, it’s still potentially accessible.
Protecting Identifying Information: One of the scariest things for parents is the idea that strangers might be able to obtain too much information about their children. However, the risks aren’t always obvious. For example, posting a child’s full name and birthday on a public website or social network where the mother’s maiden is also available provides information that could put the child’s identity or future credit at risk in the wrong hands. Similarly, photos or videos taken with some modern cameras and smartphones may contain the GPS (Exif) data of the images’ location.
Network Awareness: Whenever parents share information about their child with their network, they’re putting the privacy and security of their child’s information in the hands of the people in their network. Parents should tell the people with whom they share their children’s information what their expectations are for how and if they should share the data.
Children's Future Online: A child’s digital footprint can affect them far into the future. Parents should consider what their children will think of the information they have post and to whom they have allowed access. A child may not be happy if one day a friend, employer or admissions officer finds a bathtub photo of them online.
“Sharing my child’s life online has become part of my job description as a father,” says Jason Olim, co-founder and CEO. “When my family members, many of whom live thousands of miles away, get to be part of my son’s first laugh or steps, it brings them together and helps foster relationships for him. Protecting his privacy online doesn’t mean taking that away, but it does mean staying smart about how I share."
About Wee Web:
Wee Web (www.wee-web.com) is the safe and private sharing site for new parents and their families. It’s where parents store their kids’ media library, chronicle their kids’ development, record their kids’ adventures, and safely share their kids’ lives with friends and family on a private network. In the digital world, Wee Web is how parents share and protect what’s most important – their kids. Wee Web is based in New York City.
Cory Bronson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 646.339.2679