Tweens Online? What Parents Need to Know

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COPPA (The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) is a law aimed to prevent anyone under the age of 13 from sharing personal information online without parental permission. Many parents either don’t know about it or don’t realize it is there to protect their child and often disregard it. That is why you need to learn more about COPPA and Privo can help.

I first learned of Privo at an event given by KidzVuz, an online video sharing site for tweens. Websites, like KidzVuz, that are COPPA compliant, hire Privo to check them out and if they do check out they get Privo certified. All Privo certified websites strictly follow COPPA and kids under 13 can only use them with real parental consent.

Privo also has a section for parents and educators where you can learn more about COPPA, and check out many more resources. Here is some information from Privo about COPPA:

  1. Many parents let their kids lie about their age to join sites like Facebook. This is not okay. When kids under 13 lie to join a social network site, they are putting themselves, their family and the website at risk.
  2. With COPPA compliant websites parents are required to be part of the enrollment process and can make a decision about the privacy policies of the website. Anytime one of these sites wants to do anything that involves personal information, it needs your child to enter your email so that they can check with you. Make sure you open these emails.
  3. Just because a website is COPPA compliant doesn’t mean it is safe. It just means that everything goes through the parent. So it is up to you to read everything and be sure it is safe.

If you see the Privo Seal of Approval on a website, it is a site that you can trust. If you have tweens that are joining many websites you might want to check out the Privo Global Kid ID network which makes it easier for parents to give consent to approved websites.

If you take one thing from this post, please don’t give your tweens permission to lie about their age and sign up on social websites, like Facebook and YouTube, which require all members to be 13 and up. Not only is it breaking the law, but why have them be part of such of an atmosphere that can be even more cruel and bullying than school?

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  1. I didn’t know about COPPA. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Rebecca Green Gasper :

    This is great to know. Kids are getting online younger and younger and it is hard to fight especially when schools are requiring it for homework now. Thanks for the great link. Will check it out for sure. 🙂

  3. Thanks for sharing, Jennifer. I know tons of my friends that allowed their kids to have a facebook account way before they were 13.

  4. Nice job with this Jennifer. The tweens tend to slip through the cracks these days, with the older kids getting more attention – and into more trouble online.

  5. wonderful ideas, perfect since I have two Teens that are online. VERY Important and I will share with my friends. Thanks for sharing

  6. This is really so importatant and parents really need to be aware and take more action to safe guard their children

  7. Marlene Mahurin :

    This is great information. I teach a class about cybersafety for parents and tweens and it is amazing how quickly everything changes! I will add this information to my curriculum. I’m sure you are familiar with Commonsense Media, but I use them as a resource all the time. Thanks for sharing such valuable info!

  8. my daughter is only 4 but this information will come in handy for when she is older, thanks for sharing!

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