Back to School Consumer Tips

Privacy Pointers for Parents of Kids Going Back to School and Onto the Internet

Office of Privacy Protection Resources Featured in Back-to-School Consumer Tips

It's back-to-school time, and for many kids that means back to the Internet. How do parents keep Web-surfing youngsters from hitting potholes on the information superhighway, pitfalls like the fastest-growing and single-biggest consumer fraud crime – identity theft?

One resource for parents is the California Department of Consumer Affairs' Office of Privacy Protection, which has a fact sheet entitled, "Protecting Your Child's Privacy Online."

"Many kids today are Internet-savvy, but they may not know the importance of safeguarding personal information," said Carrie Lopez, director of the California Department of Consumer Affairs. "We have a helpful guide for parents who want to play an active role in guiding their child's Internet journey."

According to Joanne McNabb, chief of the Office of Privacy Protection, state and federal laws require Web sites that collect personal information from kids to post privacy policies and get parental permission.

"Your child may be exposing you to identity theft by giving out family personal information to Web sites. Let kids know that your permission is required," said McNabb. "Giving personal information to the wrong person online could be dangerous. Identity theft is just one of the risks."

Your child could even become an identity theft victim. For what to do in that case, see COPP's information sheet "When Your Child's Identity Is Stolen."

See the Department of Consumer Affairs' Web site www.dca.ca.gov for "Protecting Your Child's Privacy Online" and other Back-to-School Consumer Tips, including information on how to deal with student vision or hearing problems. Also included are tips for older students on privacy protection, building good credit, renting an apartment, buying furniture, computer repairs and more. See the Office of Privacy Protection Web site at oag.ca.gov/privacy for more privacy protection tips.

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