Blog topic: Protect Kids Online

Got Kids Under 13?

It’s summertime. For kids, that might mean days at the pool, sleep-away camp, summer school…and hours on some computer or mobile device, if they can possibly get away with it.

Starting today, parents might feel a little better about their younger kids’ privacy online. That’s because changes to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) rule take effect today. The act requires operators of websites or online services directed to kids under 13 to give notice to parents — and get their verifiable consent — before collecting, using, or disclosing a kid’s personal information. The rule also applies to general audience sites that know they’re collecting information from kids under 13, and to sites and online services that have actual knowledge they’re collecting information from sites directed to children. The rule applies to apps, too, not just to websites.

Summer Camp Season

Aah, summer break. School’s almost out, and camp season is just around the corner. Whether your kids are attending a program for sports, arts, or education, there’s plenty of fun to be had this summer…and plenty of forms to be filled out.

Summer program forms may require you to provide your child’s personal information — like their Social Security number. While this may seem routine, it’s important to do what you can to protect sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands.

Annual Highlights

Springtime: For us here at FTC headquarters, it means warm weather, cherry blossoms on the National Mall, and the publication of the agency’s Annual Highlights.

.FTC Annual Highlights

If They’re App-y and You Know It

Have kids in your life? Then you’ve probably got a collection of kids’ apps — or soon will. Whether it’s a game on your phone or a math app on your tablet, find out what apps might be doing — but might not be telling you — and what you can do about it:

New Research: Teens and Technology

I don’t know about you, but I got my first cell phone when I was well past junior high. Fast forward to the year 2013, where 78% of teens ages 12-17 now have a cell phone, and almost half of those teens own smartphones.

These stats are hot off the press from Pew Internet and American Life Project’s new study, “Teens and Technology 2013.” The research takes a closer look at smartphone adoption and mobile access to the internet among American teens, with some eye-opening results.

Sentencing Commission Report Examines Child Pornography Cases

The United States Sentencing Commission recently submitted to Congress its comprehensive report examining federal sentencing policy in child pornography cases.

Although still only a small percentage of the overall federal caseload, child pornography prosecutions have grown significantly during the past decade and now account for nearly 2,000 federal cases each year. That growth reflects the increasing role of the Internet in child pornography offenses. Before the Internet, law enforcement officers had significantly curtailed the child pornography market in the United States.

The Clock Is Ticking for Students Seeking Financial Aid

It’s that time of year again. If you’re a college student seeking financial aid, you should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as you can. While the deadline for submitting the FAFSA is June 30th, many states and schools allocate funds on a first-come, first-served basis, and some states have deadlines for filing the FAFSA to be eligible for certain kinds of aid.

Kids' Online Privacy: The Next Generation

It’s no secret that kids take to the Internet like — hmm, ducks to water.

It’s also no secret that parents are concerned about their kids’ privacy online.

The FTC's New Home for Consumer Information

Looking for consumer resources from the Federal Trade Commission? They’re at consumer.ftc.gov, a new URL for information from the nation’s consumer protection agency.

Consumer Information

6 Timely Tips for Using Apps with Kids

Do your kids or grandkids use apps on your phone, tablet or e-reader? Of course they do. Many apps are fun, educational and engaging. But before you hand over your mobile device to a youngster, here are six things to know and do.

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