How Protected is Your Child Online?


As kids, teenagers and coeds become more internet savvy, the risk of losing their privacy online becomes more of an issue, and online bullying isn't the only danger they can fall victim to.

From Facebook to Myspace to Twitter, social networking is believed by some to have created a privacy vacuum for kids.

A new Zogby International poll shows more than 90 percent of parents think their children share too much online, and 75 percent say social networking sites are doing a 'negative' job of protecting online privacy.

On Monday, the poll's sponsor, Common Sense Media, will launch a campaign to teach kids how to protect their personal information, and reputations, online.

Something this former prosecutor points out can be difficult to do because of how information spreads on the web.

“When people go on and they publish pictures or publish stories, instead of it being published to 5 or 6 people it’s an entire school, an entire town,” said criminal defense attorney Paul Callan.

Or the entire world. Like the recent Duke University graduate who emailed friends a mock thesis detailing what she claimed were sexual encounters with student athletes. It ended up going viral.

“The thing that's remarkable about this is for a Duke college grad to be that naive about the ability to contain something like this is pretty outrageous,” said Frederick Lane, author of “American Privacy.”

And, with story after story about online bullying, some say internet discretion education is a good start.

“As part of controlling this internet bullying and internet exploitation, we have to teach our kids, ‘look, don't do this stuff’,” said Dr. Phil McGraw.

The Zogby poll's sponsor, Common Sense Media, had a roundtable discussion with several federal officials about increasing online privacy for teens Friday.

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