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.
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.
Does your dad think spyware is James Bond’s tux? When you tell him to be careful about phishing, does he ask you about mercury levels in the lake? When you remind him to clear the cookies on his PC, does he remind you he doesn’t eat in the office?
If you answered yes to any of these, it may be time to give Dad a lesson in cyberspeak.
Calling all military families and veterans! Are you looking to protect yourself or your family from fraud, identity theft, and scams? Maybe you’re curious about the best way to use credit, shop for a used car, or maximize your security online.
Military folks are consumers, too – and critical to the economy. Just ask the 1.4 million men and women on active duty or the 1.1 million in the National Guard and Reserve forces. But the unique challenges of military life – frequent relocation, separation from family and friends, and the stresses of deployment – can make military households an attractive target for scam artists. In fact, during 2012 the Federal Trade Commission logged more than 62,000 complaints from servicemembers, veterans, and spouses about their experiences in the marketplace.
That led the FTC and its partners to sponsor Military Consumer Protection Day on July 17, 2013. It’s a great day to empower military and veteran communities with information as the first line of defense against consumer fraud.
Have you ever received an email from a business that asked you to respond with personal or financial information? Maybe even a text from a company that threatened to close your account if you didn’t verify your identity? That smells phishy.
Join the FTC, Stop.Think.Connect., and others for a Twitter chat on phishing this Thursday, May 16 at 3:00 p.m. ET. Follow @FTC and use the hashtag #ChatSTC to join the conversation!
You don’t have to tell us twice, we know robocalls are annoying. Our Robocall Challenge generated advice we wanted to share, from consumers who say they’re using certain tricks to stop these harassing calls now.
Assistant Director, Consumer & Business Education, FTC
The FTC is always working to know more about the types of fraud being committed and who spends money on them. Consumers provide us with useful information through periodic surveys that ask them to share the important details about their recent marketplace experiences and a bit about themselves.