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Krystalyst Blog


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Privacy: steps to protect yourself, your kids Krista
Privacy: steps to protect yourself, your kids
Privacy is becoming an increasing concern on the internet. Government systems have increasingly taken over the Internet and extended their surveillance capabilities so that we are all being watched, all the time. According to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, "Everyone is being watched and recorded, even if you are not doing anything wrong." 
World renowened cybersurveillance expert Jacob Applebaum warns the watching ranges from simple, back door programs "that cause serious harm to regular people who are working for some kind of truth telling" to government agencies such as the NSA, who are using the internet for total surveillance and control, with no boundaries or transparency. Applebaum notes that there was no public discussion about internet surveillance. No one asked, no one voted, yet governments have years of data on their own citizens. 

"So?" you say, "I'm doing the same things on the internet as the next guy, and I'm not doing anything wrong." Even so, there are a few privacy steps that eveyone should be aware of, here on Yuliya Riabko's blog: Is your personal information safe?

You also may want to think about your kids' privacy, because they're developing permanent online records that will follow them into adulthood for future employers and colleagues to see.

Here's some quick tips for parents. More tips for all ages, and for teachers, may may be found at the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. 

1. Talk to your kids. Be open, listen to their concerns and share yours. Google yourself and your kids. You may be suprised what comes up.

2. Be a role model for your children. One way to be a role model is to ask everyone, including your own children and your friends, before their personal information or photos online. Asking, "hey, is it ok if I post this silly photo of you on FB," is only common courtesy, especially because its going to be there forever.

3. The Internet is NOT private.  Remember when your parents used to warn you not to talk on the phone to strangers? The same rules should apply to the internet. Make a general rule about "friending" people, such as: if you haven't met f2f, if you have not been in the same class/house/public space as that person then you should not accept the freind request.

4. Keep up with technology.  How many times have you seen a teenages showing an adult how to use a mobile? Its a parent's responsibility to be informed, not the other way around. Would you let your 12-year-old teach you how to drive your car?

5. Learn about privacy settings and password. Tap settings/privacy and check out the privacy and location settings on your photos, email, calendar, games, apps. Get to know what is accessing your information.

I hope you find these tips helpful. For more information, please visit the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

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Showing 2 Comments
Avatar  KateM 4 years ago

Hi Krysta! Good post - nice, concise overview of this week's materials. Thanks for building on Yuliya's post by focusing on privacy and kids. Even though it's my area of research and personal interest, I sometimes forget about how my kid is engaging online. My strategy of an outright ban is no longer effective ;) Also, thanks linking to the OPC - they do amazing, forward-thinking work.

Avatar  Tanya 4 years ago

Great post, Krista!

And thank you for the useful tips for parents!