Today, we are more linked, networked, and wired than ever before. Not only do we use the internet to stay connected, informed, and involved, we use it for many routine tasks, like submitting taxes, applying for student loans, and even powering our homes.
These days, bullying doesn’t just happen in the schoolyard. Bullying has followed kids into cyberspace as they spend more time online and on their phones. Cyberbullying happens when kids bully each other through emails, text messages, online games, or social networking sites. It might involve sending mean messages or posting embarrassing photos. But there’s something you can do.
On August 15, 2012 the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention will host a webinar, Cyberbullying: What You Can Do. Join the webinar to hear partners from the Federal Trade Commission and the National Crime Prevention Council discuss how schools, parents, and communities can all work to help prevent cyberbullying.
If you’ve got kids, it’s likely you also have video games — played on a game console, like an Xbox, Wii, or PlayStation, or on a handheld gaming device.
If so, there’s something else you have: parental controls. They’re already built into many game systems. You just have to use them. Parental controls help you make sure your kids play according to your rules, whether it’s limiting which kinds of games they can play or keeping them from accessing online features.
Did you know that a child’s personal information can be stolen from somewhere as ordinary as a school or doctor’s office? In fact, the number of complaints to the FTC about child identity theft is on the rise. An adult may think that “adopting” a child’s identity is a way to start over if they’re in a financial bind – to get things like car loans, mortgages, or medical care.
Today, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz is participating in a panel discussion about privacy and social networking at the Common Sense Media symposium, The Impact of Media on the Health & Well-Being of Children.
Research and Policy Coordinator for Bullying Prevention Initiatives, Department of Education
Preventing and responding to cyberbullying is a key concern for many youth and parents. The effects of cyberbullying can be serious and long lasting and can have a farther reach than in-person bullying. A comprehensive approach to the issue is critical because many youth who experience or engage in cyberbullying also are involved in in-person forms of bullying. It’s not enough to simply talk about the problem; everyone has a role to play and actions they can take to help stop bullying.
Every year, the FTC Chairman highlights the work the agency has done to protect consumers and promote business competition. This year, for the first time, these highlights are online with interactive, multimedia features.
The social networking site RockYou has agreed to settle FTC charges that its security flaws allowed hackers to access the personal information of 32 million users. The FTC complaint also alleges that the company collected info from more than 100,000 kids in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). RockYou will pay a $250,000 civil penalty for the alleged COPPA violations.
In today’s world of smart phones, smart grids, and smart cars, companies are collecting, storing, and sharing more and more information about you. In fact, as illustrated by the FTC’s new video, you might not realize just how often companies do so.
If you have a smartphone or tablet computer, you probably use apps. And chances are your kids do, too. Easy to download and often free, apps are quickly becoming an everyday part of kids’ lives. While this new media provides enormous opportunities for users of all ages, it also raises some concerns.