Do You and Your Child Have ANY Digital Privacy?

New gadgets are great with new capabilities, advanced features, stellar communications, and exciting applications. Everything is perfect, right? Not really and especially not with the smart devices that children and adolescents carry.

As I work and play with my iPhone and iPad, the world seems pretty good. Yet, on the down side is my decreasing privacy. My two devices share a lot of my personal information with others — something I hardly ever think about when I am using the iPhone or iPad. Thinking, however, is a good idea, as is looking over a child’s Internet-connected devices and talking about what should be turned on and what should be turned off.

  • A phone’s location services enable advertisers to collect information about a phone user’s activities. For maximum privacy, turn on a location service when you require it and then turn it off.
  • An individual’s location can be tracked easily (and not just by concerned parents) with three types of cell phone information:
  1. the phone’s GPS,
  2. signals from cell phone towers, and
  3. WiFi use patterns.
  • A web site such as Google or Facebook features applications that allow friends to track each other, and each time a phone or digital device connects two people or a person and place the potential exists to collect lots of personal information. Once collected, how will the information be used?
  • A device’s bluetooth technology facilitates easy file and information sharing, while simultaneously allowing malware or viruses to be saved on a digital device.
  • A phone, like a computer, needs to be thoroughly erased before discarding it or giving it away. Just deleting data is not permanent enough.
  • Many applications are free, with location services turned on at installation. That locational information can allow developers to make money from the app by selling the data. Examine each app to decide if location services are required for the app to work.
  • For telemarketers to use auto dialers to call cell phones is illegal. If you receive telemarketing calls, contact the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) which has set up a site to receive complaints.

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