Awareness raising on children’s privacy protection
Awareness raising on children’s privacy protection


From the newsletter:

Personal Data: what is it about?

Name, family name, date of birth, residential address? Your marks on the electronic register, your nickname, friends, parents, hobbies, visited web sites? Voice, picture, finger prints? Text message you have sent to your friend from your phone? It may look initially that it is impossible to identify you from many thinks mentioned above; however, all the above mentioned and similar information constitutes your personal data.

Modern technologies are so much advanced that the personal identity may be defined by your voice, face picture, finger prints, iris of the eye, and many other things. The IP address may provide the information about the computer you used to browse the net and thus determine what you have been interested in and what information you placed there. On the other hand, no especially sophisticated technologies are needed: would you like any of your pictures (photos) be accessible to anyone online and you would be recognised by ypur friends, teachers, and neighbours?

Would you really feel good if the picture of your class would be transmitted live online, if anybody could easily find out whom you communicate with, what kind of information you put on the social web sites, what you talk about in the chat rooms? Secrets are not restricted to adults alone; they are for children, too. They also shall have the right to safety of their secrets and the obligation to keep other people's secrets.

Privacy on the Web - is it Important?

Recently, the popularity the services of social networking are increasing very rapidly: every year more and more people become members of those networks. The social networks provide the possibility of fast and convenient exchange of information, communication with a vast number of friends or simply congenial people; however, it poses numerous threats to privacy. Before you become a member of such a network, you should consider several points:

• A high possibility is that the information that has been put on the web once will stay there continuously. Even if you delete it from the site, where it has been placed for the first time, you would not be sure that it has not been copied (including the search engines). Besides, it may be not easy to delete the information from the initial site - the request may not be answered promptly and sometimes it can be simply neglected. Thus, you most probably will have to face the fact that even many years later your personal life details may be available to your employers, business partners, future friends and other persons. Would you be embarrassed due to it?

• What do "friends" of social network mean? Although many social networking services providers assure that it is perfectly safe to communicate and provide personal data on social networks and that such communication is very much like communicating in reality, still there are a number of differences. Even the concept of "friends" on the net is different form that in real life. When we communicate online, we do not see the other person, and it is possible that the person who says he/she is your contemporary is really considerably older or younger, while the real "sender" of a message is malicious software that has infected your friend's computer. If you are not attentive enough, it may happen that your „friends" will become all the members of the social network, and in some cases - even a wider circle of persons. Are they all really your friends?

• It strictly recommended not to indicate precise contact data (address, phone number, etc.) - these provide the opportunity to disturb your privacy in reality, or, even worse, may become a tool of crime for the malevolent. If you can, you better use your nickname: it will, at least, partially protect your privacy.

• It may happen that you submit more personal data than it seems at the time. Por instance, the technologies of face recognition have been improving rapidly. Thus, once the name and the family name are related to the picture of a specific person, wide opportunities may emerge for collecting information about the person. In this case, even the personal identity of a person who used his/her nickname may be established. Besides, the provider of the social networking services and third parties may use the information on the social network related to yourself and start offering various goods or services.

• Read the privacy policy of the social networking services provider, choose relevant privacy settings - it is recommended to restrict the access to private information as much as possible, especially when it is related to the web search engines and direct marketing.

• Respect the privacy of others. Be aware that before you publish other people's private information, including their pictures and videos, you have to obtain their consent. Probably you would not like your photo that your friends laughed at to be placed on the social network without your consent? Others most probably do not want that, too.

• Having assessed all the pros and cons, register on the social networks relevant to your age. You will manage to enter the adult world at a later stage.

• Before you become members of a social network, discuss it with our parents and obtain their approval. Turn to them every time you are confronted with a problem.

By all means remember the most important rule: social networks make many things simpler, but they will never be a substitute for real, live, open-hearted communication in reality.

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